Just two years after their debut studio full-length Weltenszission, the anonymous Black Metal outfit Dødsdrift, who hails from the Baltic Coast of Germany, returns with its successor Ødnis. A ten-track forty-one-minute offering that takes the listener on an icily bleak yet engagingly melodic and fascinating journey straight into the depths of humanity, the tracks are inspired by isolation, loss, war and the forces of nature.
Dødsdrift – Ødnis (Vendetta Records)
Release Date: 15 October 2021
Words: Jools Green
Lyrically all in German, it is a language that delivers an excellent atmosphere for Black Metal, whether you understand it or not. With Ødnis, Dødsdrift have not attempted to push any boundaries but have just focused on delivering a quality Black Metal offering, making an unnervingly thought-provoking and reflective listen. It is also, from my perspective, an easy and enjoyable one, and that’s all I need.
Opening track Fährde (Ferry) has the eerie soundscape replaced by driving blackened riffs, which dominates both here and across the whole release. There is also an ebb and flow from the brutally driving through to a reflective drop back, whilst still maintaining that dark driving undercurrent, giving variance in depth, texture and mood, completed by a harsh acidic vocal delivery. The subsequent track Schattenschafott (Shadow scaffold), delivers a darker and more haunting sound than its predecessor, paring back with reflective passages.
Ruß (Soot) is probably my favourite track of the release, with its soul tearing reflective opener, an element that repeats across the track, elevating to a blackened riff onslaught with a haunting mid-point melody followed by an intensifying of that blackened onslaught towards the close.
Herbstluft (Autumn air) takes on a lovely doomy downturn midway, building back up with militaristic drum rhythms and then Laere, with its dark haunting opener, pans out to become a darkly reflective track, the pace elevating in waves but maintaining that haunting reflective quality.
Der Letzte Pfad (The last path) is a haunting driver, punctuated midway with militaristic drum bursts, setting the sound up for a brief shift in pace and direction, for one that is more intense and driving. Overall, across this release, the most noteworthy element is the precise, well varied and well-phrased drum work, which subtly adds a lot of essential texture to the intense driving sound.
I love the chugging bursts that break up the drive as Moorbrand opens, an element that returns in the second half, adding continuity and texture. The reflective opener on Heimkehr (Homecoming) builds into a punchy driving assault that flits to a haunting melody and back repeatedly, adding a very hypnotic quality to the sound.
Adern Des Abgrunds (Veins of the abyss) is a thunderous and hypnotic driver with a dark atmospheric quality, another favourite track with me.
Finally, Enthauptet (Beheaded) continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, almost as if it is rising out of its ashes, delivering a fresh and final frenzied blackened onslaught. I love how the drum work rises to the surface in a couple of places, chopping out beats, then sinks back and resumes its pummelling undercurrent.
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with Ødnis. It’s a solid, consistent and interesting listen.