Nordvis Re-Issues: Skogen: Tervahäät: Draugurinn
Here we have three re-issues from the Nordvis camp. And all three seem to be centred around nature.
We begin with Skogen and the re-issue of their out of print 3rd album, Eld, which is now available on cd and vinyl… and not forgetting the nice new range of shirts and hoodies, which I’ll finally get around to ordering very soon.
I was mightily impressed with the Svitjod re-issue from last year and Eld is a worthy successor to that classic album. Although Eld isn’t such an instant success with my ears and it’s an album that requires more listens before everything sinks in.
I don’t think the differences are that pronounced, but Eld has a darker feel overall, and songs like Apokalypsens Vita Dimma are just slightly more complex. But once you’ve played the album a few times, it all falls into place very nicely.
The album mixes up Black and Pagan Metal. I’m sure people will argue over which genre Skogen belong in, but for me, it’s somewhere between the two, also with some Folk influences, but more of a sitting round the campfire feel than the hippy side of the genre.
But whatever you want to call them, Skogen are masters of their trade and I wouldn’t have known had it not been for the re-issues. And I’ll say the same as I did with my Svitjod review. If you missed Skogen the 1st time around, don’t make the same mistake twice.
Following on from the 2015 vinyl re-issue of Tervahäät’s self-titled debut, Nordvis are giving the bands second album, Kalmonsäie, the same treatment. Limited to 222 copies.
From the dark wintry feel of their debut, Tervahäät have continued the feeling of being stuck in a cold Finnish forest. But dare I say it, Kalmonsäie feels like a much happier album.
From the ritualistic chanting and the twanging of whatever string instrument it may be, a banjo or Shamanic equivalent, I don’t think you can top the uplifting feel of the title track. I may love my Metal, but I also love to drift off into another world with the Dark Folk/Dark Ambient feel of albums like this.
The spell is broken with track 4, Lumelleluvattu, which contains a Black Metal vocal diatribe over Gothic guitars (which remind of of something Siouxsie And The Banshees might create). The sound of hate over a calming backdrop works very well, as does everything else they do on this album.
It may be a re-issue, but this is my favourite (non-Metal) album of the year so far.
Last up, it’s Draugurinn and a re-issue of the 2011 album, Myrkraverk.
Hailing from Sweden, but with her music focussing on ancient Icelandic traditions, Draugurinn has created a stunning minimalist palette of dark ambience and mesmerizing rituals.
Sometimes it’s just a beating drum over droning atmospherics, but despite its simplicity, it’s a captivating listen. There’s always a sense of foreboding about the music, and I think that’s what keeps your attention throughout some of the very long pieces.