Review: Broder – «Det højes smed»

Ever since Fallow Field released the «Korpsånd» compilation of the eponymous Danish black metal collective, slightly more than three years ago, we’ve been feasting on their subsequent releases, such as Vaabnet‘s «Det hellige mod», Fanebærer‘s fantastic «Den første ild», or Hollow Hand‘s «The Pleasure of Betrayal». Whereas their black metal entries have been nothing but stellar, that is not the only genre members of the collective engage in. One example in the drone / doom realm is Broder, the duo formed by brothers Jesper Bagger Hviid and Erik Bagger Hviid, whose last catalogue entry, the «Det højes smed» EP, is the subject of today’s review.

Broder – «Det højes smed» | [Independent]

In the text accompanying «Det højes smed», the band explains that it is based on “a legend from Western Jutland about the settling of old scores, thermodynamic vagaries, the fractal geometric slaying of Euclid, the ancient belief in the sacrificial cycle, ill-starred throwness, butchered ogresses and cleaved ribcages. Mud, fire and steel …” In other words, a whole bunch of gnarly sources of inspiration. As things go, after an unsettling introduction, «Smedjen» explode in absolutely virulent death metal, reminiscent of the filth Fistula would throw our way when temporarily abandoning their sludge ways. Not that the song stays like that throughout its almost six minutes of length, but a very brief pause quickly gives way to another onslaught of lo-fi riffs and maddening screams. This establishes a pattern repeated all throughout the EP, where brief noise interludes give way to death metal bursts, often extending to their beginnings as seen on the «Stenen» / «Stålet» transition, with the latter emerging from its own filth at the end with a thoroughly engrossing melody.

While all of this is in stark contrast with their «Tøbruddets fald» LP from 2018, if one takes into account the 2019 sludge meets death doom affair that was the «Slagtorden» EP, the sequence taken becomes clearer. Not only did the sound got better with time, but that which was fast before only got faster; the one thing to stay the same was, in all fairness, one of their greater assets, namely, the filth with which they imbue every passing minute of their releases. One can only hope to one day witness a song like «Haden» in a dark, smoke filled basement somewhere.

«Det højes smed» was independently released on July 30 on digital and vinyl formats. It can be ordered here.

Below, you can further revisit the other two Broder releases mentioned above.

«Slagtorden» was released by Hævngær on July 29, 2019. It can be found here (cassette) and here (digital).

«Tøbruddets fald» was released by Hævngær on November 1, 2018. It can still be found here on digital format.

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