It’s no exaggeration when I say that Dodsferd have a prolific discography that stretches about as long as long gets. Running back as far as 2003, the Greek black metallers have created a respectable following with their early demos, more full-lengths than I can count on one hand, live albums, EP’s, splits and compilations. My invitation to the Dodsferd party came in the form of 2013’s bastard child – The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race. The combination of Wrath’s (Nadiwrath, Kampf, Grab and ex-Drunk Earth (now called NunOnBong!)) abrasive Skitliv vociferations and the voracious Vreid or Taake-like black n roll got me hooked. I worked my way backwards, adding to my Dodsferd library, appreciating Death Set the Beginning of my Journey for its animalistic vocals, DIY feel and shifting unhinged tempos. Fucking Your Creation followed with its spiteful and edgy atmosphere, then Desecrating the Spirit of Life hinting at Carpathian Forest and the depravity you’d get if you dared The Misfits to create a black metal release. The final leg of my journey came in the form of Stormblast with its Illnath-like vocals and its immersive melodic traditional sound. Wastes of Life hit me at my most unprepared. Billed as “unapologetically defiant and shockingly melodic” including a statement from Wrath to the effect of “My new album is one of my most soul-destroying albums. It was written under feelings of frustration and disgust.” my expectations were high.

As the opening strains of “Wastes of Life” work their way into earshot you’ll become aware that there’s something very very different about this album. True to Wrath’s word, Wastes of Life sees Dodsferd undergoing a transformation into austere, epic black metal depression, laced with barely contained violence. And it works. The song is built around a delicate, shifting, repetitive melody that quickly commits to memory. It’s when Wrath’s vocals kick in through that you’re in for the biggest shock, playing out as a monologue they have the same impact as Old Dead Tree‘s “The Bathroom Monologue.” The track moves along more quickly than you’d expect, sometimes bringing to mind the pickings of Shining (Swedish), at others the melancholy of So Much For Nothing or the godforsakenness of Eudaimony and finally winding up the changes with the hopelessness of Skitliv.

“Sterile Death, Without Mourning” makes another about turn with guitar work that could easily be confused with Eric Clapton before Wrath again picks up the reigns with his gut wrenching voice. And then finally you’re given a brief taste of the Dodsferd you know and love. This is an album of where the only consistency is change. As you’re getting used to Dodsferd delivering their brand of black metal, they switch the tempo and the melody, the strings seem to weep with sadness, there’s no escaping it. Nothing’s overdone, the song is lengthy at over 12 minutes, but it’s perfectly constructed to wrap you up in its seeming endless tearful journey.

Dodsferd - Wastes of Life 02

“The Dead Have No Speech For,” “To the Fall of Man” and “Graves of Your Creator” follow on from their predecessors, adopting the same mix of uncharacteristic delicacy while bringing to mind the likes of Ulver or Agalloch. This is contrasted by the seething, venomous black metal one expects from Dodsferd neatly bound by the depression of Eudaimony and or Forgotten Tomb. Guitar solos are big, bold and impressive. Vocals change between misanthropic screams, monologues, rasps, pleading whispers and robotic rantings. Vocal theatrics of the Kvarforth variety are introduced from time to time but they’re used sparingly and positioned well.

If I were to nit pick and hunt for faults on this album, I’m sure I could list a few. The incomplete or meaningless song titles being one, the song lengths too (I’m pretty sure the longer tracks could be tightened up a little and the fat trimmed). But I don’t want to pick nits anyway. Despite Wastes of Life being built mostly around tracks that exceed the 11-minute mark, the album only consists of five songs, thus making it very listenable. Each track is dynamic, well crafted, interesting and more importantly, memorable and believable. When Wrath says “Remember that no one gives a shit about you, because you are nothing, nothing but wastes, wastes of life!” he means it and that comes across. Wastes of Life has more than exceeded my expectations. If this is Dodsferd‘s new direction, I’m a believer!


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 11 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Moribund Records
Websites: dodsferd.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/dodsferd
Releases Worldwide: November 20th, 2015

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  • A double digit DR score…you don’t see that every day. Intriguing to say the least.

    • Absolutely! My heart just about stopped when I saw it. That’s a big part of what makes this album such an easy listen.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I guess that’s what makes the guitars sound so good, especially on Graves of Your Creator.

      • testiklees

        This sounds spectacular. So nice to not hear the squish.

    • michael rodrigues

      wait, what is DR?

      • Sigh. Dynamic range. Please check out our Angry Metal-Fi series of articles (and then go join the forum for further discussion!).

        • Anon

          You learn by asking. Doesn’t seem like a bad thing too ask…..

          • Absolutely. Apologies. Just a bad day.

          • Anon

            Sorry to hear man. We all have em! I get where you are coming from though. I looked it up over a year ago when I first found this site so I didn’t have too ask lol.

          • And I’m more than happy to answer any question too if you have’em anyway!

      • Wilhelm

        In a nutshell It stands for Dynamic Range, a final result in the production/mastering process which produces a full or “squashed” sound. The scores are based on the dynamic range meter that you can download. Unfortunately many bands today have a DR of about 4-6, things get better at 7-8, and 9 and above is exceptional (and sadly rare).

    • I love this album, but my TT Dynamic Range Meter v.1.4 actually measures the official promo MP3’s to the following range:

      DR, Peak, RMS, Song
      DR11, -0.00 dB, -14.30 dB, Wastes of Life
      DR7, over, -8.45 dB, Sterile Death, Without Mourning
      DR5, over, -7.23 dB, The Dead Have No Speech For…
      DR4, over, -6.28 dB, To the Fall of Man
      DR6, over, -8.87 dB, Graves of Your Creator
      Official DR value: DR7

      I’ve never been the band’s biggest fan, but this time I’m sold! Hell, Wrath has even managed to toss in some clever arrangements.cleverly arranged

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Greeks… black metal…..hnnnngggggg so close… but not Spectral Lore.

    I’m guessing you ain’t reviewing Gnosis but I’ve just listened to that “EP” (nearly 50 minutes) and it’s solid gold.

  • Luke_22

    This sounds great. Never checked these guys out before but definitely going to delve further if the dmbedded track is anything to go by.

  • You wot m8?

    I always like a new band with a big, fat, ‘ol back catalogue for me to dive into. I’ll be doing that presently…

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Check out Madam’s review of The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race, if you haven’t already.

      • You wot m8?

        Will do…

  • Pimpolho

    You guys are so lucky to be from the northern hemisphere, you can listen to this massive depressive bullet in the cold winter. No depressive bullet in this southern heat, unfortunately.

    • Yup, I see your point, that might ruin it for me too. Hang in there, winter is coming… eventually.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Global warming is not making it any easier.

        • Urge, I hear you. It’s December already and not a single snowflake :/

          • Art Saves

            We got Ice. Treacherous ice to slip and break the face on. Very nice indeed. ;)

    • Just go a little further south. You can metal with the penguins. They’re already in corpsepaint.

      • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

        Some tuxedos, some corpsepaint, some penguins… BEST METAL VIDEO EVER

    • ars_nihili

      This spring is pretty mild, though. Yesterday I was driving back from work and it was 23°C.

      23°C on December in Brazil! That’s crazy!

      • Pimpolho

        Indeed! I’m from Brazil aswell, and this is being the coldest Spring ever!

  • It’s like Burzum meets R.E.M.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Amazing how great it could turn out to be halfway between two places I don´t want to be in.

  • Wilhelm

    This sounds good, especially the production but I think suicidal vocals are kind of on the emo side of black metal – can never take them seriously.

    • euthanatos

      yeah, really interested by the instrumental, but I can’t seem to get past the vocals.

  • Art Saves

    Good album. The split ep Anthems of desecration and demise had some awesome tracks aswell. Looks like its re-recordings of old tracks of theirs.

  • Λα Τραβιάτα

    The artwork is of epic proportions. Who made it, Mr. angry guy?