Do you guys like oatmeal? Because this review is oatmeal based. Oatmeal is great because of all the varieties of food that it can be mixed with such as berries, peanut butter, yogurt, jelly, cinnamon, protein powders, etc,.. Black metal is oatmeal and this bowl has been prepared by Den Saakaldte with their album, Faen i Helvete.
A quick little funny story here – when Stan sent this album over to yours truly, there was hootin’ and hollerin’ to be had as I was thinking, “Finally these guys produced another album” but foolish me mixed this band up with Skitliv, the band of Mayhem’s former vocalist Manic but I was still hesitant to get gloomy because Den Saakaldte did a split with Shining and Deaf Sparrow loves Shining [Editor’s note: We actually reviewed their Live Blackjazz on the older site, great stuff.]. That was a big mistake because this album is as bland as plain oatmeal that demands either cinnamon, peanut butter, or delicious berries in order to make it worth eating. Insert standard vocals, unoriginal guitar riffs, lackluster bass guitar, and drums that were copy-pasted from just about every black metal band. Do you remember that phase where you discovered black metal and checked out every black metal band you stumbled across? You probably found a lot of bands that reached “meh”, “ehhhh”, “gah”, or “bah! humbug!”. This is within that same category. It isn’t bad enough to say “FUCK THIS” or good enough to want to buy a patch to sew onto your battle jacket. To pump the brakes and talk about the positive things, there are some moments where they achieve some “I could tap that.” About midway through “Endelost Ode,” they themselves pump the brakes and whip out a nice black interlude that sets a rather dark mood and follows through rather well throughout the rest of the song. In “Djevelens Verk” the guitars resemble melodic black metal and the drummer gets his creativity on with a pretty cool drum pattern and is rather catchy.
On Wikipedia, they are labeled as a black metal “supergroup” and perhaps that should have been the first sign to stay away because frankly, black metal does not do supergroups that well. If you know of some black metal supergroups that are a cut above the rest, feel free to post in the comments and prove me wrong (that way I get more music to listen to). Besides, what could perhaps be called lack of creativity, it could be argued that this band tries to hard to replicate early 3rd wave black metal which many of the members are in bands that are included in 2nd wave black metal like 1349, Pantheon I, and Koldbrann. To summarize, Faen i Helvete isn’t for everyone. Black metal purists will find this album of oatmeal to their liking with just the right temperature but for those who are Goldilocks and want some variety, this isn’t for you.