Solbrud
Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn


4.0
excellent

Review

by absolutely intent on wasting your air USER (2 Reviews)
March 27th, 2021 | 16 replies


Release Date: 03/26/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Danish black metallers find their perfect live concert premise: a 34m tall cylindrical water tower, made of concrete.

If I was going to choose a location to play a black metal set and all the mausoleums in town had been booked up by necromancers and people that like Gorgoroth a bit too much, I’d say a 34m high, 20m wide cylinder of concrete and steel probably wouldn’t have been #2 on my mental checklist to look out for. However, one such unlikely venue exists in the form of the Brønshøj Vandtårn and, apparently, has earned a bit of a second life as a location for musicians to record in, or as a venue for gig-goers seeking a unique experience. Before going fully in, a caveat. I’m writing this having not seen the visual part yet, which may well alter one’s impressions going forward (the show was filmed for release on DVD); this review will therefore, deal mostly with how it sounds. And on that end, I’d be up for Solbrud recording every album from now on within the confines of the water tower - Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn sounds fantastic.

As much as it feels obvious to say, the live setting (especially being where it is) lets their music sound as it probably always should have done – with respect to the studio releases, Solbrud have never sounded so… right. Playing black metal on the more mournful end of the spectrum, the bump in reverb naturally lent by their surroundings only seeks to improve that oh-so-nebulous ‘atmosphere’. In this case, the sense of loneliness or alienation is heightened by giving a more tangible impression of emptied boundaries, sound crashing off lifeless concrete and functional, unfeeling architecture (of course, this does collide with the irony of it being a live set with an audience, but at least while listening, suspension of disbelief does the legwork here). The kick drum sounds magnificent – imposing and deliberate during slower sections, and with all the rumble, drama and confusion of a cavalry charge when the blast beats let fly. It’s rarely too much though, as most the shrieks and peals of vocals and guitars find their sweet spots more often than not, and there’s even room for the bass to rumble around the listed structure too. As such, with an already consistent back catalogue behind them, Solbrud have rarely heard so ‘complete’. Further credit must go to the pacing of the setlist, a wholly satisfying mixture of their three albums to-date, balanced extremely well to sit neither on plodding misery or a furious barrage for any longer than would be welcome – and they even find time to introduce a new track, the achingly beautiful tar-slow ‘Sjæleskrig’.

It must be said, this is no substitute. The events of 2020 have been awful for live music in Europe (in case, you know, you missed it). As a way of experiencing music, there remains nothing like being surrounded by sound, rubbing shoulders with others (presumably) having as quality a time as you are. As such, Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn cannot hope to fully offer a wholly satisfying impression of what it would have been like to have been there – the swell of drums, the piercing vocals, or the unpredictable reverb (I can’t have thought it’d be particularly warm either, being a November in Denmark). However, it is a bloody excellent listen all the same; as a reminder of what we had (the show was recorded in 2019), and what we hopefully have to look forward to, I’m curiously glad they waited this long to release it.


user ratings (3)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
zelenichajnik
March 27th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been curiously down on black metal lately but this scratched all the right places baybee. Loved this band for years and this is totally their finest moment. - Czech it out here:



https://solbrud.bandcamp.com/album/levende-i-br-nsh-j-vandt-rn

Digging: Have a Nice Life - Deathconsciousness

ChoccyPhilly
March 27th 2021


13314 Comments


INTERESTING. Will add it to the list

Digging: Solbrud - Vemod

zelenichajnik
March 27th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah :] Hope you check it sometime. Acoustics really can make or break something.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2021


9095 Comments


Very well written, pos, this is great to listen to.

Digging: Vision Video - Inked in Red

zaruyache
March 28th 2021


23768 Comments


down on bm? cheq the new Koldovstvo and alkerdeel


zelenichajnik
March 28th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I've been struggling to love new stuff lately in the genre. I'll peep those, cheers fella



Thanks Voivod :] Yeah it's a treat.

zelenichajnik
March 28th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Always nice to sleep on a review and see it on the front page, thanks :]





...and then to realise you put the wrong unit of measurement in the bloody summary. Fuck sake.

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2021


13964 Comments


Very glad this got a review, better to see it got a featured spot - well done.

ChoccyPhilly
March 28th 2021


13314 Comments


Likewise, been struggling to find some proper quality black metal. Seems to be the more I look, the more elusive it gets but this is sounding good on first listen

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2021


8374 Comments


sick review. this looks interesting

Digging: Dvne - Etemen nka

Sniff
March 28th 2021


7001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the reverb is thicc

Digging: Nasvikensmaffian - It's Hamre Time

zelenichajnik
March 28th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The clap of the reverb keeps alerting the guards



thanks folks btw :]

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2021


9095 Comments


^^Regarding the review summary, I think it would be perfect, if it read as follows:

Danish black metallers find their perfect live concert premise: a 34m tall cylindrical water tower, made of concrete.



Yeah, I've been struggling to love new stuff lately in the genre.

Unfortunately, this applies to other metal genres as well, whereas mainstream is fighting the good fight for the time being, the underground appears to be devastated.

zelenichajnik
March 28th 2021


612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ooh, I like that, changed :]



That's a troubling observation. Hopefully things will recover eventually, but it may be (if there ARE issues) that we could be in for a tricky few years.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2021


7531 Comments


oooooh didn't see this, very nicely written bro!

Digging: Andy Stott - Never the Right Time

ChoccyPhilly
April 7th 2021


13314 Comments


I'm quite surprised at how good this sounds considering it was recorded live



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