Another album that came out at the beginning of the year and escaped a few too many radars, including mine, is Moksha by Norwegian Dalit, a band that has been around for about fifteen years now but that, as too often happens, pays the price for being the author of metal with Christian themes. Granted that my status is that of non-believer, I must admit that I often prefer the depth with which religious topics are faced with conviction rather than the adolescent exhibition of Satanism and assorted blasphemies of low level; this is also because, especially in the sub-genres of doom, the dark and introspective approach of the music goes well with deep lyrics and especially free of that hatred that today too many exhibit with arrogance just to mask an existential failure. The fact is that Dalit, with Moksha, release one of the most beautiful albums of the year in the field of melodic death doom: in a little more than forty minutes the Stavanger band delight the fans with airy melodies, perfectly performed and able to convey a subtle melancholy rather than a dark despair, so that it’s hard to find a song better than the others (if forced I choose Anthem). Lyrically, Dalit don’t try to convert anyone, but rather question the misery of those who see moksha (the moment of transition from life to death in Hinduism) as a liberation from earthly suffering, even though they do not believe in any rebirth. It’s a theme that is anything but banal, and these Norwegian guys cover it with a poignant musicality, with the beautiful tone of vocalist Guro Birkeli alternating with the harsh growl of bassist Eirik Hellem and various guests enriching with violin and keyboards a work of powerful and rare emotional afflatus.

2021 – Independent

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