Dödsrit – Spirit Crusher

I’m looking at Spirit Crusher (Prosthetic) the latest release from Sweden’s Dödsrit and I’m getting a feeling. Not super familiar with the band but judging by the font and the presence of umlauts we know extreme music is on the way, particularly of the Black Metal persuasion. And these song lengths certainly suggest experimentation and a non-commercial nature. Dödsrit is a one-man project isn’t it?

Those one man acts always have the most to say.

I don’t know where that tradition may have started, I hazard a guess that multi-instrumental talents like Al Jourgensen and Justin Broadrick may have cleared the way, but without the need to compromise, Christoffer Öster gets to lay down the heavy jams on Spirit Crusher. So, with the studio all to himself Öster gets take Dödsrit where he damn well pleases, and the result is a fairly lean album. Yep, lean is the adjective here with only four songs to share. Sure, the shortest hovers a little over seven minutes and there are enough riffs and tempo changes to stock other musician’s catalogues, but you’re never bored.

Well, let me rephrase or explain that. If you’re in the bag for artists let’s say like Wolves in the Throne Room or Isis then there’s an abundance of protein to be pulled from Spirit Crusher’s bones. Those who’s ears lack musical callouses will likely be turned off by the webs spun on tracks like ‘Aura’ or ‘Ändlösa ådror.’ To the untrained ear, all songs will sound like blast beats and smoking tremolo riffage that gets to cool down in lush post-Metal landscapes. Some will be turned off by the song lengths. And that’s fine; this may not be for you, but the rest of us get to enjoy how infectious the drumming remains in even the mellowest passages of ‘A Drowning Voice.’ We get to discover the sudden and heart pounding switch from Shoegaze to savage Hardcore Punk buried deep into the woods of its title track.

A staunch refusal to compromise and an equal commitment to fiery chaos and weary beauty is what Öster is serving up on ‘Spirit Crusher.’ And I don’t think he cares if you like it or not.