Kampfar - Ofidians Manifest
Approaching 25 years of existence and having grown to become one of extreme music's premier live outfits, while releasing albums that would dominate year-end lists and even bagging a Norwegian "Spellemann" Grammy award for their 'Profan' album, Kampfar looked ready to go and dominate for years to come. But behind the music, disguised during the intense live shows, underneath it all, was a clarity that the road's end was nigh. Health issues caused the band to slow down and during the summer of 2017 it was decided that there would be no more Kampfar, unless something radically changed. The guys didn't see each other for a year, didn't really speak or keep up any kind of contact, just focusing on their own personal lives. "It was time to just heal, to not cause any more damage, to just see if one could get back to a point of strength again" says Dolk. It was a year that culminated in 'Ofidians Manifest'. The madness of Medusa was chosen as a visual clue to the record's themes, represented by two different paintings to be explored on the physical releases. And again, the band decided to travel to Poland to record a music video, this time with director Dariusz Szermanowicz of Grupa 13. The video, hinting at the many underlying stories of the album, is a chaotic depiction of the road back to equilibrium, a place no one knows yet all walk towards. According to Ask Ty, the choice of song proclaiming the band's return was made because "it tells you everything you need to know about Kampfar today, distilled down to four and a half minutes of intense breaks and turns, it is the beginning and the end and the new beginnings after that, and it is the sound of a band that is alive and well." ?Ofidians Manifest' represents Kampfar anno 2019. 25 years on from their foundation, only willing to release new music if they felt it would surpass all they had done before, it is a condensation of the immense struggles of the last few years. Everything that has been hidden behind the music and the live performances is laid bare, though told in the only way the band can portray themselves, through songs. It is immensely honest yet wrapped in their own folklore, the snake tongues splitting every truth into two deeper truths, every word sung dominated by the weight of all those sung before. To Ofidian.