Call Down the Sun

Band: Konvent
Album: Call Down the Sun
Best song: “Harena,” “Fatamorgana” and “Grains” are amazing.
Worst song: “Never Rest” is the weakest song on the album.

What a year.

The nature of the calendar is such that all these things are a little artificial; resolutions and such can be done at any time. As a Jewish person, I also have the High Holiday time as a time for reflection, but certainly birthdays can bring the same purpose. But, still. What a year.

In my work life, my immediate bosses – including the guy who hired me – left their jobs at the end of 2021, so I now had new bosses. Outside of the usual small changes, things mostly stayed the same and I’m pretty happy with my new bosses and their approach to my work (particularly the podcast). In fact, our show had some heavy hitters on this year, from Anthony Fauci to two sitting members of Congress in one week in October.

Otherwise, my non-work life has been up, down and around. I went to Israel again (maybe for the last time because who the hell knows what will become of the state under an even more extreme theocratic ethnostate government), partially for my spiritual life and partially for my own relaxation.

For the purposes of this space, I’ll also note that I got back into live music this year. I saw a bunch of shows, including:

  • Blood Moon in Boston
  • Thou and Converge
  • Lingua Ignota (twice)
  • Deafheaven
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Beth Orton
  • Russian Circles
I probably saw some more shows, but I do not remember them. Either way, it was my reentry into live music (always wearing an n95 mask) after doing religious “gatherings” at a few synagogues (again, wearing a mask). In a way, they are similar, in the shared experience we have at both, filling our proverbial souls with meaning in a very abstract way; it’s not a shock that Kristin Hayter’s Lingua Ignota project is so steeped in emotion-via-religion. They scratch similar, albeit different, itches. There’s something very visceral to be in a room – even with a load of people you don’t or tenuously know – experiencing the same and similar feelings. Being moved by a performer or a shared feeling of community is deeply important to being a person.


I’ve never seen Konvent and I don’t know that the band has even toured the U.S. in the seven-ish years that it has been around. I would love to see them, as their blackened doom is one of the great recent evolutions of any band, but definitely a great evolution taken forth by one of my favorite bands. The band’s demo was a revelation and remains in my heavy rotation, but their latest shows how the band has grown in the years since.

Sara Helena Nørregaard’s riffs have sped up a bit on Call Down the Sun, while still maintaining the doom tone and thick rhythms from bassist Heidi Withington Brink and drummer Julie Simonsen. No longer funereal as much as it is relentless, the band shines on “In the Soot,” a song that takes as much from Pallbearer as it does Black Math Horseman. The guitar layers on “Grains” hammer the riff like the big machines on Forged in Fire, pounding until Rikke Emilie List’s vocals – still the MVP of the band – come in.

Death metal is as much a part of the band as the doom backbone on Call Down the Sun, while the band even plays with other genre work. “Harena” has a violin and cello guest performance by Felix Havstad that accents the album’s end to perfection while List’s vocals reach the top, bottom and everywhere in between. The song’s tenacity is only matched by its sustained emotion, highlighting the band member’s individual strengths (machine gun drums, heavy bass, List’s evocative lyrics and Nørregaard’s soaring, melodic solo).

There are few bands who do what Konvent does; I can’t think of a doom metal band that embraces its strengths as well. Call Down the Sun is a welcome sign of growth in an already terrific band and it’s the best metal album of 2022.

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  • About Me

    I'm Ross Jordan Gianfortune. I am not a writer, but I sometimes write here about music and my life. I live in Washington, DC.

    I used to review each of Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time. Now I'm writing about albums I own.

    My work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Gazette, The Atlantic, Sno-Cone and a bunch of defunct zines.

    You can contact me at rjgianfortune at gmail dot com.

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