Kampfar – “Profan” (Indie Recordings)
Blood mit fire! Celebrating over 20 years in existence, there are few who can hold a (black) candle to Norse Black Metallers Kampfar both songwise and in their intense, spell bounding live shows. Fronted by the iconic Dolk, they are nothing short of a possession, both musically and spiritually. “Profan” is the culmination of all this experience, not nostalgic, not forward thinking, but an emotional release from deep within Kampfar’s soul – with certainly plenty of fire! While not being corpse paint clones, Kampfar have always been more than able to stand their ground against any evil doers, using their own spirituality inspired by Norse folklore and elemental nature to produce what is without doubt their most mature release to date. This is a loud album. Not just in the mix but its sheer overpowering darkness, be it from Dolk’s cold vocals – sung in a mixture of English and Norse – that haunt bleakly before screaming primordially to the band’s ultra fierce blast beating, all superbly arranged and timed for maximum emotional impact! In accompaniment are the cold, harsh metallic clanging riffs from Ole Hartvigsen’s guitar as it comes into its own on power drenched songs like ‘Gloria Ablaze’ and ‘Tornekratt’ with their dark melodies and twisting solos adding richness to the material like never before. “Profan” naturally flows from predecessor albums like “Djevelmakt” or “Mare”, continuing its cover art by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński – who visually embodies the band’s sound – yet it also paves new ground in the use of some dark baritone choirs, the touch of a somber piano here and there, not to mention the band’s first video shoot in ‘Daimon’. But diehards needn’t worry, it’s all been carefully pondered on many cold, dark nights in Hemsedal with the result of Kampfar’s most cold and extreme offering to date.