Review: Konvent ‘Call Down The Sun’

One thing worth clarifying is Konvent, translated from Danish to English means ‘convention’ rather than ‘convent’, as in a community of nuns, but spelt with a kvlt ‘k’, which is what I had ignorantly assumed. It might not change how you experience the music, but it’s good to be informed, right?

Konvent 'Call Down The Sun'

Overall, it’s hard not to nod along to this album. It’s bleak and exhausting. But you signed up for death-doom, didn’t you? Call Down The Sun sees Konvent dig deeper into their sound, building on the fuzzy gloom-ridden traipsings of Puritan Masochism. It’s dark(er) and more majestic; selectively featuring multi-instrumentalist Felix Havstad who supplies additional grief with his cello and violin.

This isn’t simply a mere sophomore release though. The first single Grains, released in January this year, showcased what was still to come as there is a driving energy in the songwriting now. Guitarist Sara Helena Nørregaard has brought more chug to her funereal, artful, wall-of-noise guitar style, check out the opening track Into The Distance, as it is a welcome development.

The rhythm section has evolved as well. Drummer Julie Simonsen’s judicious use of leathery double kick instantly makes this album heavier than its predecessor. Heidi Withington Brink has also cranked the mid-tones on her bass, making their sound denser and bringing a dismal grandeur to Konvent’s engine room.

this will transport you into the funeral fog…

Throughout, there are timely progressive twists and turns in the songwriting, with a few more influences brought in. This is especially true on the final track Harena, which is arguably one of the biggest and best tracks on the album, demoing some of the epic post-metal influences the band have, think Cult of Luna’s Finland.

Vocalist Rikke Emilie List stays in the lower register for most of this release. But when she brings her pained growls up, for example in the groove-heavy Pipe Dreams, it squarely hits the ‘blackened’ part of the blackened death-doom label the band identifies with. It would be good to hear more of this. The song titles Sand Is King, Grains, and In The Soot all hint at raw and existential themes, albeit with the dense, arcane linguistic wrappings that Konvent bring to the table. List featured on Lingua Brutallica podcast earlier this year to talk about her lyrics, which is worth checking out if you are interested.

Death-doom, particularly with a funeral streak, can run the risk of style over substance but Konvent have got lots of both. Nine tracks seems like a lot for a death-doom release, but this will transport you into the funeral fog, if you let it.

Call Down The Sun is out on Napalm Records and for UK listeners, Konvent are playing at Underworld at Desertfest this year. It should be fantastic. 

Label: Napalm Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: James Bullock