Live Album Review: Solbrud – Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn (Eisenwald)

Since their formation in 2009, Danish black metal act Solbrud have forged melodic and evocative compositions in raw, storm-like, and atmospheric soundscapes.

Their self-titled debut album was released in 2012, and in 2014, the infernal ‘Jærtegn’ followed, displaying a natural sense for complex song writing that was further cultivated on ‘Vemod’ in 2017. All three albums and the quartet’s intense live performances have consolidated Solbrud as a band with a special, artistic vision unfolding in uncompromising and boundary-pushing black metal.

Solbrud are also known for performing at unique locations, with special care for lights and props, which now results in ‘Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn’, a carefully curated live double-album and video. All tracks were recorded inside Brønshøj Water Tower in Copenhagen at two totally sold-out nights.

Credit: Adriana Zak

A very unique location where the acoustics give this album a true black metal feel. Echoing and cold, combine that with Solbrud’s ability to deliver euphoric bleak metal, fiery and harsh hellscapes and downbeat melodies, the end result is an unique sounding live album.

One that lacks the ‘crowd’ aspect of a live show but makes up for that by being a deep dive into Solbrud’s career and includes a brand new track called Sjæleskrig. That new offering seems to have been written with this venue in mind as the mournful guitars echo in the darkness and the iciness of the metal creeps in from hidden crevices.

Don’t let the fact that it’s only got 8 tracks on the album confuse you. This is a near 70-minute listen with some tracks reaching 13+ minutes in length and others being nearer 2 minutes in length. It’s perhaps better experienced as one complete listen seeing as how the flow works and Solbrud have specifically designed it to be unique. Songs reworked and threaded together in a way that even long-term fans won’t recognise. This creates freshness for even the most ardent of supporters, a sure-fire reason to check it out.

Beyond the more obvious and simple statement that it is a masterclass of electrically charged, darkly emotive and savage black metal. Where the live part adds new wrinkles to a pretty prestigious sound.

Solbrud – Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn Full Track Listing:

1. Øde Lagt
2. Skygge
3. Menneske
4. Sortedøden
5. Klippemennesket
6. Bortgang
7. Sjæleskrig
8. Besat af Mørke


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  • Carl Fisher

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Solbrud - Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn (Eisenwald)
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