Dødkvlt ("Deathcult") is a one-man act which was "formed" in '09, and this is the band's debut full-lenght from April 2010. Take heed that "I" doesn't present the most usual or the most underground Black Metal, as one might already get from the simplistic purple-on-black artworks.
Fast-paced, aggressive but atmospheric, synth-heavy, melodic; somewhere between Dimmu Borgir and (old) Gloomy Grim. The album starts very quickly with nicely organ-like synths and fast but still clearly melodic guitars. The guitar sound is fittingly distorted but still a bit too clear and thin to bring mass to the soundscape, even when there's a rawer backing guitar and a more clear solo-one; to balance this out, the bass guitar quite in the back is vast and it's simple and quite slow patterns give the songs the pulse they need. The vocals are somewhere between raw growls and higher shouts and sound very decent, and the drums create the songs a vivid backbone even though their sound is quite thin. On the surface all seems very good.
With more listening the album's shell starts to crackle up a bit. It seems that the album's mixing has a bit too much air in it, meaning that the guitars and synths don't really have the balance between them that they would need and end up messing up each other. The guitar sound lacks flesh and heaviness, and is thus quite easily pushed back by the emphasized synth melodies. The drums are programmed, and while it's not so easy to notice it aside of the faster parts, it can be seen through their thin sounds that don't add much to the overall soundscape. The bass sound is also very hollow, but even though it doesn't add much to the album composition-wise it's steady pulse gives the album a lot of it's motion. If the album's mix was better, the minimalistic bass work would damage the album.
The artist has included some rather unconventional elements on the album; for example the solo guitars in the end parts of songs six and two are surprisely lively while still atmospheric, the often used and emphasized epic choir-synths are more reminiscent of progressive power metal than black metal, and the song five is based on an electric-sounding drum loop and an overall very minimal, vocal-based soundscape. These things might not sound much, but when added together with the more usual elements and the nicely atmospheric and very appealing melodies, the album gets it's own unique character and atmosphere.
Even if the album had a better mixing, it would still need some smaller nuances to really keep it interesting in the long run; for example now there might be a really good synth melody going on, but the guitars backing it might be quite basic or unfittingly repetitive. Still, with all the aforementioned things that should be improved, the album is really good. It evokes atmospheres and channels forth even desperate emotions despite it's occasionally very vivid output, and the album keeps on the move without getting stuck to one way of expression or one thought or emotion. The album is very well put together, and during the half an hour the album doesn't get dull at all.
The artist seems to have a rather clear vision of what kind of music he wants to make and he isn't afraid of his ideas and his vision - which is good, as with some polishing and overall more though put into the details the band would really shine. It's a great shame that the man didn't add the lyrics to the bare but pleasing booklet, as I didn't manage to make out a lot of words from the songs. I hope the artist reveals something of his ideologies on his next record.