2014 marks 20 years existence for Kampfar, and with it comes Djevelmakt, an album marking a leap forward in the band's steadfast career.
Where 2011's Mare represented a journey into the world of the witches, past and present, Djevelmakt conceptually digs deeper into the muck and bile of the underworlds and brings to light a world where rats feed on the blackest souls and where false choirs have no power.
Drummer Ask Ty comments: "With Mare we found new ground, a refocusing of the creative side of the band.
We kept on developing this newfound expression while we took the album and new guitarist Ole on the road."
The fresh blood provided another impulse by taking familiar elements into unfamiliar territory. The resulting highly focused writing process injected an energy into Djevelmakt that spawned songs as diverse as "Mylder" and "Swarm Norvegicus" while keeping a strong musical foundation in place.
Djevelmakt is Kampfar's sixth studio album and part of the third creative wave. Up till 2003 the band was a two man outfit and released "Mellom Skogkledde Aaser" and "Fra Underverdenen" as well as several EPs. The second wave took the band into the live arena after completing the band with two more members and it bred another two albums: "Kvass" and "Heimgang".
"Mare" started the third cycle, and now "Djevelmakt" reaffirms that Kampfar's music is timeless, yet also very much a representation of Kampfar today.
Djevelmakt was written in the first half of 2013, with the band doing a single live appearance at France's Hellfest, and then recorded partly in the band's new home town Bergen and partly in Parlby, Sweden. This time the band chose to work with Jonas Kjellgren, who also helped engineer Mare, with Peter Tagrtgren being tasked with the mix. The setup that worked so brilliantly on Mare allowed the band to walk in and record in the most relaxed manner, allowing for a production that is as focused as before, although rougher and possibly even heavier than what we have heard from them before.
For the first time in Kampfar's history they have chosen to acquire pre-existing art for the design of the album. The album cover itself is a 1981 oil painting by Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski, and the remaining design incorporates a second Beksinski painting, as well as a painting by English painter John Charles Dollman.
The works of art, selected by the band before recording the album, helped influence the direction of the sound as well as the lyrics, while also functioning as a guide to the listener, with the lyrics mostly being written in Norwegian.
Djevelmakt proves that 20 years of existence does not dull the blade, but grinds it into a sharpness more scything than ever before.