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Konvent: Call Down The Sun

Konvent are a Danish death doom act. Their debut album, Puritan Masochism, was released in 2020 to a groundswell of support. Subsequently they’ve harnessed the momentum from their debut and wasted no time in writing & recording their 2nd album Call Down The Sun, which was recently released via Napalm Records.

The album gets underway with the track ‘Into the Distance’ which is a great track and sounds to my ears like a particularly satisfying merging of the slowest and heaviest riffs from heavy doom bands such as Conan, and absolutely brutal vocals in the vein of seminal death metal acts like Cannibal Corpse. That merging of Doom and Death Metal is relatively consistent throughout, and admittedly not all that surprising given the band’s Death Doom tag!

Konvent are a 4 piece with a sole guitarist but that doesn’t stop them from creating a particularly gargantuan sound - Sara Helena Nørregaard’s guitars coupled with the rhythm section of Heidi Withington Brink (Bass) and Julie Simonsen (Drums) create a sound that could level small villages. It’s captured particularly well on this release too -I don’t usually talk about the production this early in a review, but I love the way the album sounds. Konvent sound like a band playing the songs together on this album-admittedly this is a strange thing to say, but it isn’t always the case in this day and age. I also love the choice of guitar and bass tones on this album. They have opted for an almost retro, fuzzed out Doom metal sound for a lot of the release, and subsequently the album has more of an organic soul than it would have had otherwise.

The vocals from Rikke Emilie List provide a real highlight and often switch from the deep guttural style to a more high-pitched almost black metal style which provides some variation across the album. It must be said, I’d be ok with Rikke sticking with the low Guttural style, as there is something almost hypnotic and trance inducing in the way her lower register vocals and the doomy riffs blend together. Perhaps there is no better example of this than on the track ‘Never Rest’ which has a simple yet addictive riff- the track has an almost mediative effect on me, similar to the vibe I get from some of Sun 0)))’s works. The album’s closing track ‘Harena’ is particularly notable and probably my pick for the best on the album - its crushing at times but contains some glimmers of melody which elevate the track to a place beyond the mere sonic oppression that is favoured on a lot of the album. I feel as though the band knew they had something special with this track as it has some string arrangements and guitar leads which help ensure that their more epic vision for the track was realised. It’s a fitting and satisfying conclusion to a very strong release.

Well executed death doom scratches a particular itch for me -perhaps there’s something about the slow tempos that touches on something at a primal level, or perhaps I just really enjoy this style when it is done well. Whatever the case Konvent’s new album Call Down The Sun immediately demands repeat listens from me which is always a sign of a quality release.

Track List
  1. Into the Distance
  2. Sand is King
  3. In the Soot
  4. Grains
  5. Fanamorgana
  6. Interlude
  7. Never Rest
  8. Pipe Dreams
  9. Harena

Added: May 24th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 504
Language: english

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Konvent: Call Down The Sun
Posted by Brandon Miles, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-05-24 14:28:08
My Score:

Danish death/doom foursome Konvent bring the darkness pretty damn hard. Their second full length release, "Call Down The Sun" is almost oppressively heavy and thick, with dense and murky walls of guitars played at tempos that rarely eclipse that of a funeral dirge. The atmosphere is suitably morbid, and with a black and white (because of course) album cover to match, we've checked all the requisite boxes for a standard issue 2022 death/doom release. A more in depth dive into "Call Down The Sun" reveals a bit of a mixed bag, however.

As already discussed, Konvent absolutely nail the whole wrist-slittingly bleak vibe that I'm sure they were going for. Kudos to that, ladies. Yes, this is an all female band, which isn't a novelty in the metal realm anymore, although still fairly rare. Vocalist Rikke Emilie List is the standout performer on "Call Down The Sun", with growls and shrieks that lay waste to all but the best male vocalists in extreme metal. Guttural and primal, her (admittedly indecipherable) performance is a great one and needs to be heard to be believed. The rest of the band are certainly capable and perform their duties as needed, but this brings me to the unfortunate reality of the album; it's kind of boring.

Almost every song is played at the same tempo, with droning and repetitive riffs that never really seem to go anywhere. There might be an injection of life with some double kick drumming (although the bpm never waver from their crawl), or a neat lick once in a blue moon, but these songs just offer nothing in terms of memorability. I know death/doom isn't exactly known for its hook laden choruses or guitar solos, but give me something to work with here. 45+ minutes of buzzing vibrations played at a snail's pace is probably someone's kink out there, but it's definitely not mine.

"Call Down The Sun" isn't a complete loss. The mood and depressive vibe that oozes from the release is commendable, as are the vocal talents on display, but without any memorable passages or moments to truly excite the listener, what you're left with is just a boring release that really, really looks the part. Superfans of the sub-genre might find something of value, and I do recommend you at least give it a quick listen to hear some gnarly, guttural growls.

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