Misotheist – Vessels by Which The Devil is Made Flesh

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For me this is a top contender for album of the year so far in 2024, its one of the few albums I’ve had on repeat since first listen without ever feeling even remotely bored. This is exactly what you want in a black metal album, its raw, powerful, atmospheric, complex and confronting. The long-form song structures allow for real complexity and B. Kråbøl gives one of the rawest, most powerful vocal performances so far this year. If you’re a black metal fan in any capacity, especially of Norwegian black metal then I highly recommend this release.

Artist: Misotheist
Album: Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh
Label: Terratur Possessions
Release Date: February 29, 2024
Location: Trondheim, Norway

Written by James Sweetlove

Norway have been leaders in pioneering black metal for longer than many of its fans have been alive and yet they’re still able to readily put out music that blows me away. Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh is an album that does just that, it completely surpassed any expectations that I allowed myself to have going into an album by a band that I’m unfamiliar with. It started on track one with “wow this is pretty good” to track two with “WOW! This is really good” to track three with “GODDAMN THIS IS AMAZING!”

But what is so amazing about the latest offering from Norway’s Misotheist? Well that’s what I’m about to tell you. The album is broken up into three very different tracks, each with vastly different lengths ranging from 6 to just under 20 minutes in length. The album starts with its most melodic and accessible track, then goes to its most aggressive and then to lose things out, its most oppressive and suffocating, as well as its longest track. For anyone familiar with their work, this is a project by B. Kråbøl, also of Norwegian black metal project Enevelde, who are also well worth a listen.



The term raw gets thrown around a lot these days and it can mean many different things. It can mean that the music is unpolished and has a harsh edge to it (which this music does), but in relation to vocals it can (and in this case does) mean that B. Kråbøl pushes himself to the very limits of just how biting and venomous vocals can be. I mention the vocals first because this is by far my favourite element of the album. They dominate the mix and they are truly one of a kind with the level of command that they hold over the listener. Not just that, they’re extremely varied, ranging from powerfully harsh guttural barks, to raw shrieks, to pained gurgles and a even raw shouted style. Mixed in with all of this harshness is an unexpected clean vocal style that has almost a prog type sound to it, you’ll only find this on track 2 though.

Instrumentally the band give us a more modern interpretation of what black metal is, with melodies and riffs that remind me of another Norwegian band, Nidingr. There’s furious blast beats and tremolo picking, but its balanced out with atmosphere focused segments, where the guitar work is as hauntingly beautiful as it is menacing and depressive. Its pure raw aggression and sonic dissonance met intricate melodies and melancholic reflection. This balance is crucial in the third track, with its length this variety allows it to never feel dull for a second. In fact, at the end of the 20 minutes each time, I’m disappointed that its over.

The one thing that is interesting to me is that as far as I can tell the album has been written in such a way that it appears to get better as it goes on. Now that could just be my personal preference, but it could be intentional. It just seems to get rawer and more complex as it advances, slowly becoming less generally accessible. Have a listen and see what you think!

For me this is a top contender for album of the year so far in 2024, its one of the few albums I’ve had on repeat since first listen without ever feeling even remotely bored. This is exactly what you want in a black metal album, its raw, powerful, atmospheric, complex and confronting. If you’re a black metal fan in any capacity, especially of Norwegian black metal then I highly recommend this release.




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