Friday, December 11, 2015

Havkruunu :"Havulinnaan"

Some black from Finland that is more steeped in the frosty wilderness than boozy goth. This is a duo kicking up this much sound. They conjure epic viking sounds with a fury. But as the end of the first song approaches I find myself wondering , o.k what else will these guys be able to do? This is first answered by a rather feral explosion of a song ,before they take the album into more melodic places to earn their way into the pagan metal genre. The vocals are more sung than scream, though still carry grit in more of a Primordial fashion. The blast beats to show up even in these songs, but with the greater dynamic range offered it works out much better than if they were a band who only knew blast beats. One thing I like about their take on pagan flavored black metal is none of the power or darker tones are sacrificed in order to dance around the camp fire.

They eventually begin driving things forward with less blasting and more thundering double bass with the guitar on some songs taking on almost a thrash tinge, as They attack some of these riffs with some of precision that recalls 80s thrash. "Terhen" doesn't let up on the intensity and perhaps even dials it up a notch. At four minute mark it's gets pretty melodic before speeding off in the rapid rage that fuels this one. "Sinerva" races along the frostbitten path like Immortal if  hypothermia gave them a nervous break down, the screamed vocals are at their most anguished and insane here and the gallop is pretty mean as well.

"Tuuletar" blasts off into the wilderness with a roar, but doesn't feel like the same attention to detail was given to this song in the writing stages. Midway into it they finally slow down to catch their breath and things get musical again. A guitar solo erupt amid the chaos and actually shows this guy has some chops. They close the album with what is for all practical purposes the title track. There is more of a pulsing sway to this one which gets pretty fucking epic and while that term is overused when it comes to metal here is one of the occasions where it is actually worthy of that claim. They hit you with riff after riff slamming into you neck breaking intent.

This might not be the best black metal album of the year, but it is a pretty fucking mean one that has a sound of its own and there are not many black metal bands in the hordes that are cropping up in every part of the world with a dark patch of woods that can say that. This is the band's first full length even though the have been around the block, so look forward to more from these guys.


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