DAUTHA's debut album “Brethren Of The Black Soil” stays true to the band's adopted mundane perspective as they convert the rich lore and history of Medieval and Antique Europe into their own take on Epic Folk/Doom Metal.
Their focus on the commoner's hardship's and sufferings is most evident in the title track, in which they let a deceased serf speak out against his equally dead oppressor's, the landlords and the clergy, in the aftermath of the great plague of the 14th century. The song, which contains a psalm-esque section sung in Swedish with lyrics borrowed from the German poet Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664), is a testament to death's equalizing and unifying power, and to the vanity of vanities.
The latter can also be said about the album's opening song, “Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi”, whose quelling title (often carved into headstones) translates from Latin to ”Today it's me, tomorrow it will be you”. In it, we get the dead's perspective on life and sailing on the seas of eternity, along with their plea to the living to live fully before getting in the boat with them.
A seemingly apparent breach of DAUTHA's ambition to portray the fate of the trampled is the eponymous song “Maximinus Thrax”, that literally toot's the horn of this particular obscure Roman Emperor. However Maximinus, who reigned between 235 to 238 A.D, was originally of low Thracian/Alanian birth, merely a farm boy, and the first of the Baracks Emperors, or Soldier Emperor's, and during his rule he was in constant opposition to the rich elite/the senate. Another curious detail regarding Maximinus is that he probably suffered from acromegaly, which made him a real life giant. Some contemporary sources claim he stood over 2,5 meters tall and with muscle and a temper to match his stature. Thus, given Maximinus humble origin and hatred for the corrupted rich, DAUTHA's underdog perspective remains intact, although slightly warped.
“The Children's Crusade” deals with a myth-historical event said to have taken place in 1212 A.D, when children, and all manner of marginalized people, left areas of Northern France and Germany lead by two prophesying shepherd boys aiming to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land. An attempt made by the small and meek Pueri, as they came to be known, to achieve what mighty kings and knights could not, and one that ended in catastrophe when the prophecies revealed by the shepherd's proved false.
“In Between Two Floods” is a re-recording of a song from DAUTHA's “Den Förste” EP and describes the anarchic/hedonistic Geist within the plague ridden European medieval societies. The time of the great plague became a time between times for a lot of people, a carnival, during which nothing was true anymore and everything, subsequently, permitted. And the carnival goes on until this day...
The closing chapter, “Bogbodies”, comes off as an experimental track compared to the rest on the album and gives a voice to the naturally mummified dead found in bogs all over Northern Europe. DAUTHA has chosen (whether 100% historically correct or not) to canonize these dead, making them pagan saints and sacrifices (some certainly were) willingly made for the good of the people in an age before The Cross casts its totalitarian light over the North. The dead of the bog still speak their resentment to those with ears to hear.
1. Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi
2. Brethren Of The Black Soil
3. Maximinus Thrax
4. The Children's Crusade
5. In Between Two Floods
Ola Blomkvist – guitar/lyrics
Erik Öquist - guitar
Lars Palmqvist - vocals
Emil Åström - bass
Micael Zetterberg - drums