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kampfar ofidiansmanifest
Artist: Kampfar
Title: Ofidians Manifest
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 3rd May 2019
Label: Indie Recordings

Album Review

25 years ago KAMPFAR came out of the misty trees on the west coast of Norway and sprouted tendrils of intent that, slowly at first would send vibrations throughout the Black Metal world and beyond. Their first album, ‘Mellon Skogkledde Aaeser’ (Between Wooded Hills), was a 7-track package screaming Black Metal bombast replete with absorbing bass lines, atmospheric flutes, horns and keyboards, Dolk’s voice topping the production like Glinting blades of steel floating in a cauldron of molten mercury...

25 years on and album number eight, ‘Ofidians Manifest’, is a masterpiece of tension building pathos and release. ‘Mellon Skogkledde Aaeser’ sounded fresh and full of vitality, ‘Ofidians Manifest’ exudes a new found vitality after a period of inactivity due to personal issues, seven tracks of Black Metal perfection all brought together by Dolk’s tortured but expressively aggressive vocal which constantly conjures up images of walking on smooth ice followed by broken glass in quick succession. The pathos on this album is expressed far better by Dolk than I ever could and believe me I have tried!

Opening track, ‘Syndefall’ (The Fall), sets the tone. Track seven, ‘Eremitt’ (Hermit) is gorgeous! The chanting in the background glorious devices that pull the track along to a piano flourish before Dolk’s vocals chip in again on the home straight! ‘Skamlos’ (Shameless) opens with groovy bass before morphing into blast beat brute force, three minutes of aggression followed by a mellower conclusion.

Two tracks have the added bonus of female vocals, the track ‘Dominans’ with Agnete Kjolsrud contributing spine chilling accompaniment that sets the scene before the creepiness intensifies mid track, a horn flourish adding to the demonically sinister feel of impending harm. Album closer ‘Det Sorte’ has vocalist Marianne Maria Moen providing an ethereal and dreamy backdrop to Dolk’s pained and doleful excretions.

Snakes have truly revealed themselves on this album! It’s wrapped in slithery, creepy ophidian menace along with a graceful beauty that’s hard to ignore! The album was written and recorded during the spring and autumn of 2018 in Bergen, Oslo (Norway) and Parlby in Sweden before being mixed in the band’s creative home of Hemseda in Western Norway. The local environment of that area is etched into the very core of the production, it’s something that's evident within the music giving it that unique KAMPFAR flavour. Ever since I first discovered KAMPFAR they have for the most part created satisfying Black Metal that I can dip in and out of at leisure and this album carries on that quite adequately!


01. Syndefall
02. Ophidian
03. Dominans
04. Natt
05. Eremitt
06. Skamlos!
07. Det Sorte


Dolk – Drums, Vocals
Jon Bakker – Bass
Ask – Drums, Vocals
Ole Hartvigsen – Guitars


Cover Picture

kampfar ofidiansmanifest


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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