Slægt - Beautiful and DamnedHave you ever wondered what it would be like if Jon Nödtviedt decided to put Dissection to rest after the highly-influential Storm of the Lights Bane and decided to join Dark Tranquillity? Yes, I know, total blasphemy, but weirder things have happened. I mean, W.A.S.P. put out a better record last year than Slayer, for crying out loud. Nothing is completely out of the realm of possibility, right? The reason why I asked that question is because Danish newcomers Slægt tried to hypothesize the outcome of such a pairing with their four-song EP, Beautiful and Damned. In doing so, they crafted a pretty intriguing set of songs.

Their debut album, last year’s Ildsvanger, was a bit more Immortal or Darkthrone worship than anything coming out of Gothenburg. With multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Oskar J. “Asrok” Frederiksen and drummer Adam “Ccsquele” Nielsen joined by additional members, Beautiful and Damned shows some serious growth. Opener “Move in Chaos” wastes no time in throwing in some quick icy riffs and hammering drums. Asrok has a very clear, cavernous rasp that reminds one of the late Nödtviedt. About two minutes in, the band settles into a slow, cold groove, with a pretty infectious twin-guitar harmony between Asrok and Anders M. Jørgensen while bassist Olle Bergholz holds the bottom-end down. Throughout the song’s duration, we’re treated to quality black metal, The Gallery-esque showmanship and twin melodies, and a heaping ton of atmosphere, all kept in the confines of a well-crafted near-seven-minute song.

For the most part, Beautiful and Damned retain that forward, upward momentum for the majority of the EP’s 24 minutes. Instrumental “Church of the Night” feels like a long-lost In Flames ballad, only much darker and icier. “Alshincheri,” possibly the heaviest of four songs on here, also benefits from some dark ambience and good use of breathing space. Those three songs give a strong case for Slægt‘s progression of a time-honored sound. Early in the game, and these gents have a fairly good handle on emulating their icons.

Slægt 2016

Helping them along is the production, which sounds refreshingly dynamic. Bergholz sounds good throughout the EP, and the drums, though cavernous, still provide the appropriate amount of thunder. What doesn’t help, though, is repetition. With the exception of “Church of the Night,” all of the songs are over 6 minutes in length, and some of those minutes are caught meandering. The closing title track suffers the most from this, as aside from some phenomenal leads by Jørgensen, the feeling of deja-vu was strong.

Still, Slægt, in paying homage to their mentors, crafted a rich EP, showcasing a hungry young band with promise. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, as the groundwork is already solid. We could end up with a new melodic black metal band worthy of worship soon.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 256 kb/s mp3
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Releases Worldwide: January 22nd, 2016

  • Iliast

    While I think Move in Chaos is the standout track here, it is kind of great from beginning to end.

  • You wot m8?

    This is nice.

  • Reese Burns

    That W.A.S.P. VS. Slayer comment had me rolling. Well played Grymm, well played.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Slaegt is awesome! I know their album is from last year, but I’m already waiting for the next full length!

  • This sounds fun :) Looking forward to their next full release

  • Releases worldwide Jan 22? I bought this months ago on bandcamp. So confusing. But I agree, this EP is great. I didn’t really put two and two together with the Dissection/In Flames idea. But I can see that. To tell you the truth though, I was thinking more like glam metal from the mid 80s gone vampire.

    • Grymm

      January 22nd is the physical release.

      • Ah, more secrets of the music industry. Let me guess, bands “prerelease” their music online so as to make money toward the printing of the physical copies?

    • Arikael

      Same here, I bought some months ago on bandcamp and the EP was definitly in my top 10 albums of 2015.

  • One More Thing

    That sounds awesome! Picking this one up for sure.

  • De2013

    Sounds very catchy! First one I marked as Recommended this year and will check it out! Thanks for reviewing.

  • Wilhelm

    woah, finally, someone playing melo-death/black metal with actual dynamics again, this sounds fantastic – the only downside I can see is that it’s not a full length.


    this album just “sounds” so good, not all muddied up