Djerv – Djerv

Categories: Reviews
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 15, 2011

Straight out of Oslo, Djerv is a heavy outfit consisting of members from acts Animal Alpha, Trelldom and Stonegard. Their self titled debut has just recently been released and has been followed by quite a lot of buzz. Unfortunately this band came with baggage. The singer is ( dun dun dun) a female….she is Agnete Kjølsrud and has been in two black metal projects besides this band. Which means that to most metal fans, from the novice to the connoisseur, the following axioms must be applied.

“Since they have a female singer, it must be a gimmick and this band must be terrible,“ or “She’s a metal front woman so she must be a genius and groundbreaking artist.” Oh and since these projects are scene mainstays Solefald and Dimmu Borgir, it is automatically assumed that Djerv is also black metal.

I’m not sure what everyone else has been listening to but it did not take long for me to identify that THIS WAS NOT BLACK METAL. TUNING DOWN A GUITAR DOES NOT PUT THE CORPSE PAINT ON FOR YOU.

No galloping drums, No harmonic dissonance, no melodic elements. The album is straight up HARD ROCK. The songs are hard rock anthems, both lyrically and musically (thematically they’re all about how she’s coming for you, she’s “coming for your headstone” she’s basically coming to kick your ass ). However, this is not exactly a bad thing. Perhaps they’ve been thrown into the wrong genre. Mislabeling is not the problem with Djerv.

WHAT, then, is the problem with Djerv? The band itself is the problem. Subtract their singer from the equation and you’re left with hard rock pony tricks and seriously tuned down instruments. Laying a gem such as Agnete in gold like Solefald made sense; the rest of the band had the polish to pull it off. (Am I saying Dimmu Borgir did? If Vortex was still around. Fuck Abrahadabra.)

She isn’t trying to sing like a female, she isn’t even necessarily going for clean metal vocals. She’s going for your fucking jugular. Take the first 3 seconds of the album for example, where Agnete comes in screaming like a banshee poised to beat you like you stole something. It’s guttural, it’s visceral, it’s not delicate or feminine, its BADASS, and then…the rest of the song is a complete let down as long as she isn’t singing. She’s the crown jewels on this album, maybe in this entire band. Hate to say it, but the rest of it you’ve all heard before. It could all be replaced, Agnete cannot.

That being said, Agnete’s unique style is what sets this band apart, yet is what could make them mainstream. I still can’t wrap my head around who ever classified them as black metal. The track “Gruesome Twosome,” (My absolute LEAST favorite track on the album) could be appreciated by audiences who don’t like metal. It’s absolutely awful. Like the rest of the album the musicianship is nothing special and it’s the only piece where she trades in her demonic vokillwork for some Gwen Stefani impersonation. Deplorable. If you want to check out how truly awe inspiring this woman’s voice is, I still highly recommend the title track, “Madman,” and the song “The Bowling Pin.” It’s a relentlessly heavy, catchy joint with a “sing songy” hook very reminiscent of Devin Townsend’s “Resolve” (albeit Agnete sounds more like a possessed, undead version of Anneke van Giersbergen).

Bottom line? You’re going to be misinformed that this is black metal. It isn’t. You don’t have to take my word for it. If you want throat ripping girl vox, give this a listen and then go check out Solefald‘s Norron Livskunst. If you want hard rock with substance, go check out Stonegard, one of their associated acts. If you want to get your nuts kicked in, go tell Agnete Kjølsrud that she sounds like Gwen Stefani.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Welcome , today is Friday, August 19, 2011