A word that I’ve always loved giving to black metal is “cold” as it’s incredibly descriptive, specific, and can mean so much for just black metal. But it’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to call any piece of black metal cold in a good way, and I was hoping that doing some research into some newer acts would help me out. Literally, my first pick, the one-man mystery that is Daagh, caught me by absolute surprise with this eponymous debut being more than I was hoping for.
From that monochromatic cover art alone, I wasn’t really impressed given many acts go for the same feel to varying levels of success in the end. With Daagh, however, it fits perfectly. Hailing from Norway doesn’t always mean you’re the next greatest thing in black metal, but Daagh’s first offering is the sort of thing many of us eat right up like homemade ice cream. This debut busts open five tracks that span the icy wastes to create a truly cold listening experience the kind of which I haven’t dived into for far too long. Atmospheric black metal can be a real coin toss in some instances, but it’s with Daagh that we’ve got a clear winner almost right of the bat from the first track alone as Daagh shows us with the utmost ease that he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s difficult to sometimes make an album in this style without relying heavily upon subtle riffs to help the listener progress throughout the record, but Daagh uses even subtler melodies combined with a grand understanding of what it takes to make quality atmospheric black metal and surprisingly good vocals to make his very first piece of material a real underground gem that we don’t get often.
The broad scene of atmospheric black metal has always been rife with interesting acts and one-man bands, and Daagh easily stands out. But without stepping out from the crowd a lot or really trying to turn the style on its head, Daagh makes these five tracks the most enticing slab of black metal I’ve heard since Mork. Should you want to experience a fresh out of Norway act that has plenty of potential to throw around, look no further than the entity that is Daagh.
“Daagh” releases on September 23rd via Wolfspell Records!
LISTEN to “Daagh” on Bandcamp here.