This isn’t my first experience of Danish psych having reviewed The Sonic Dawn’s Enter The Mirage not so long ago. Therefore I was curious to hear what Natskygge (Nightshade), a four-piece from consisting of Thomas Iversen on vocals & guitar, Martin Lykkegaard on guitar, Dan Kunstmann on bass and Thomas Sørensen on drums had to offer. This Self-Titled debut is the follow-up to the Lidt Efter Lidt (Little After Little) EP released back in 2018.
Having watched Such Hawks Such Hounds again recently, I was reminded of one of the themes touched upon in the documentary, of how during times of political turmoil and uncertainty bands tend to retreat into themselves into a fantastical world. The album cover seems to reflect this notion with its distinctly mythological quality. Furthermore the promo notes state that this is a ‘heavy melancholy mix with dreamy otherworldly universes…makes it clear that Natskygge have a deep interest in expanding the human consciousness’.
Opening track Flimmer reminds me a little of Dead Meadow with a more country twang, Thomas’ vocals sounding a little more urgent than Jason Simon’s laid back drawl. There is a little of the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers Jam Band vibe going down too. Next up Kaptajnen (Captain) starts off with some pretty laid back acoustic guitars reminding me of Dinosaur Jr during their quieter, more introspective moments. The band then pick up the pace for the final section of the song with some awesome garage rock styled riffing helping to provide an unexpected, yet welcome change in tempo. Drømme Falder (Dreams Fall) makes you think we’re listening, at times, to a Bakersfield style county band as opposed to a Danish psych outfit. There are some space rock flourishes thrown in along the way, although these are a little more subtle than your average Hawkwind inspired outfit.
Natskygge managed to meld styles together effortlessly without in any way sounding disjointed or forced…
Silhuetter Af Liv (Silhouettes Of Life) reminds me of mid 70s Pink Floyd with some otherworldly space rock and added melancholy, the guitar work made me think David Gilmour (though thankfully not his solo output). The track gets a little heavier later on with some grooving stoner rock ala Lowrider. The band once more take me by surprise by injecting volume and distortion into the proceedings, all the while making it sound effortless and natural. På Hjørnet Af Galak (On The Corner Of Galak) is considerably darker than the rest of the tracks I’ve heard so far, with a real doom sound. The riffing and tone of the track reminds me a little of Candlemass, that band’s sense of melodrama really ringing through.
Oceaner (Oceans) is another lumbering track of doom metal riffage that recalls Saint Vitus, who were once described as Black Sabbath on Quaaludes, Natskygge seems to embody this same spirit. It is a number that could have easily fit on Vitus’ Mournful Cries. After two tracks of pretty downbeat and heavy doom we’re treated to a folk styled psychedelic piece of loveliness by the name of Røgslør (Smokescreen). While final track Livets Kulør (The Suit Of Life) alternates between trip hop styled beats and grinding bluesy stoner rock, a cool and somewhat funky way to conclude the album.
So despite not knowing a word of Danish and having to utilise Google Translate for the meanings of the track titles, this was a thoroughly engaging, enjoyable and an interesting listening experience. Natskygge managed to meld styles together effortlessly without in any way sounding disjointed or forced. In fact I found it so intriguing that I’m going to end the review here so as to have another listen.
Scribed by: Reza Mills