Korseld - Jordevandring MMXXII

Korseld has been around since 2011 and are bringing fans a more refined version of their past with a re-issue of their debut “Jordevandring.” Back in 2014 the recording wasn’t quite everything the band wanted it to be (considering it was just a 2 man band with Daniel Reese on guitars and Daniel Tjernberg on vocals and keys), though the band did a good job at releasing it themselves, it was just very limited and very hard to find. Now with a new label home on Kult und Kaos Korseld felt a desire to give fans the album they felt they deserved. A lot of the guitars and vocals are re recorded, so for those lucky enough to have the original copy of the album they can compare. However, if this is anything like the Hypocrisy “Catch 22” debaucle where fans felt the original was too ‘nu metal-ish’ and nowhere near the expected melo death standard (damn purists), then this should come across as a whole new album to enjoy whether fans are new or old for Korseld. The whole album is done in Swedish so lyrically it might be a challenge to understand, so universally the music is going to be the big factor for listeners on whether this is a make or break release (again).

Right off the bat with a track like ‘ Möte med döden’ on gets the melodic introduction with the piano/ keyboards and symphonics behind the guitars and growled vocals. While these guys consider themselves death doom one doesn’t really get the feel of that. The energy of the music is fast paced, and from the structuring of the symphonics to support it this almost feels more like if “Enthroned Triumphant Darkness” by Dimmu Borgir went more death metal than black metal. Then one gets the slower melo death pacing from a track like ‘Bombrad’ which is a little more melancholic in the riffs, but still comes off as like a slower Amon Amarth track with air raid sirens. ‘De sista…’ incorporates some new clean vocals courtesy of Dick Lundberg (which really enhances the music) in the mix to shake things up and finally a snails pace begrudging slab of doom with the guitars that bring out that mournful guitar wail that fans have been waiting to hear of the doom genre, and then more of the more militaristic styled drumming handled by Jonas Hoffman, only now it can be more enjoyed with the slower pace.

‘Dagen da…’ is one of the tracks that changed drastically compared to the original. On the 2014 version it was an instrumental; here it comes off as more of a melancholic death metal track with some doom influences. ‘Eldstrid’ also helps bring out the doom elements with the somber orchestral segments; something that Korseld has been holding back on so far in the album, and while not as ferocious as the other tracks, it helps enhance their sound overall along with more of the viking styled clean vocals. ‘Gryrningstrid’ is the one instrumental the band did not change, and it comes off as the biggest surprise on the album. Completely piano/ keyboard, it acts as a somber filler to really showcase the melancholic doom side of the genre. Like an interlude from a Shining album, fans will either appreciate it for the difference or hate it and skip it if they want something heavier, like ‘Skyttergravens…’ which shows more piano, but this timed paired with the death metal elements for a little bit more of a gothic doom experience. 

The closing ‘Jordevandring’ is a fine example of doom and a little bit of melo death (even with the way the clean vocals are styled think ‘The Abyss’ from Hypocrisy’s “The Arrival”) so fans should be happy with the result of the title track. The only downside in all this re recording is that the bass performed by Jens Fredricksson feels lost and unappreciated here. Like any good doom album the bass should always the rumbling forefront of the melancholic onslaught. 

Still, Korseld do their debut justice, and even if this feels like a brand new start, have all the right pieces to cement their sound more in the death doom genre. Despite going up against big names like Paradise Lost and Draconian, they’ve proven they don’t need lush electronics/ orchestras or female vocals to get their point across. This is more of an old school feel that late 90s death metal/ melo death/ doom fans can enjoy.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. Möte Med Döden
2. Bombräd
3. De Sista Att Falla
4. Dagen Då Kriget Kom
5. Eldstrid
6. I Korpens Skugga
7. Gryningstid
8. Skyttegravens Mörker
9. Jordevandring