Review Summary: When Dimmu Borgir meets No Doubt...
Djerv are a relatively young band, formed after the breakup of Animal Alpha and Stonegard. After their early EP 'Headstone', the band released their self titled debut full-length, 'Djerv', an album worth checking out for any fan of hard-rock, gothic or even the lighter realms of black metal.
Instrumentally this release is minimal, but effective. You won't find any shredding or complex solos here, but you will encounter many interesting, dissonant loose-riffs with an almost improvised feel to them (such as the opening riff of 'Blind the Heat'). Background effects are used appropriately to enhance the horror-movie esque atmosphere present on certain tracks, such as 'Only I Exist' and 'Ladder to the Moon'. The drumming, while not particularly stand-out or innovative, is solid throughout and carries the songs nicely.
Agnete's vocals on this album are one of the unique features of the band. Many compare her to a much harsher and ballsier version of Gwen Stefani, and this isn't a terrible comparison. Her voice isn't for everyone, there's no doubt (excuse the pun) about that, but it is certainly unique and powerful. She howls and shrieks when appropriate, but generally provides smooth, often seductive cleans. The choruses of 'Madman' and 'Blind the Heat' and the entire track of 'Gruesome Twosome' display her vocals at their best, ranging from ghostly and ethereal to downright angry.
This is a well composed release; all the tracks have their own unique identity while still feeling like they belong to the same album. 'Abmuse' is the track where the occasional black metal elements are the most prevalent, with discordant guitars and double-bass drumming. 'Headstone' and 'Madman' both please with catchy choruses, the latter of which also containing an enchanting and beautiful soft section, followed of course by heavy guitars and Agnete's banshee wails.
Overall this is a strong release from a band that will appeal to fans of many genres. While not exactly revolutionary, this album is well-executed and thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. I would suggest any fans of this check out Animal Alpha, Agnete's old band who have produced some unique and fantastic music also.
Recommended tracks (personally) -
Blind the Heat
Only I Exist