SEEN AND HEARD: VASTUM, HAVUKRUUNU, NAÐRA, DIRTY SHIRT
Once again I find myself awash in new songs that I’ve discovered since the end of last week, but without enough time to write about all of them. To avoid a paralyzing indecisiveness about which ones to select for this round-up, I taped a list of them to the wall, threw my head against the edge of a table to cause a bleeding scalp wound, spun around in circles like a dervish, and then checked the list to see which names had been hit with blood spray. I’m probably going to work on a different selection method in the future.
Two days ago we got a preview of the new album by Vastum courtesy of a premiere at DECIBEL. This is the band’s third album, bearing the title Hole Below, and I’m very, very eager to hear all of it — especially after listening to “Sodomitic Malevolence”.
Holy mother of calamities, is this song creepy and crushing — it sounds like a torture chamber engulfed in an earthquake. During a hurricane. While an eclipse is blotting out the sun. And when the song eventually begins to really roll, the riffs will snap your neck — and there’s a guitar solo that will sear the skin off your face.
By the way, if you don’t already know about Vastum, the band includes current and former members of Hammers of Misfortune, Acephalix, and Apocryphon, and you can check out their first two albums, Patricidal Lust (2013) and Carnal Law (2011), on Bandcamp. Pre-orders for the new one, to be released by 20 Buck Spin, are available at either of the first two links below.
This morning I saw that Naturmacht Productions will be releasing the debut full-length by a Finnish duo who call themselves Havukruunu. The album’s name is Havulinnaan, and today Naturmacht began streaming one of the new songs on YouTube, a track called “Terhen”.
“Terhen” is a racing, heart-bursting gallop of pagan metal, with the kind of sweeping melody that not only gets stuck in your head but also makes you feel like you’ve entered the storyline of some epic saga. Powerful, inflamed vocals, too.
Havulinnaan is now available for pre-order in a variety of formats HERE.
P.S. I really like the cover art, created by Heidi K.
On Christmas Day of last year, our Norwegian friend eiterorm included a demo by an Icelandic black metal band named Naðra in a guest feature on our site collecting 2014 releases we had overlooked. I later learned that Naðra’s line-up includes members of other notable Icelandic bands, including Carpe Noctem, Ophidian I, and Misþyrming (in fact, three of Naðra’s members appear to be in Misþyrming).
Yesterday I learned that Fallen Empire Records plans to release the band’s debut album in January 2016. Entitled Allir vegir til glötunar, it includes five tracks, one of which (“Sár”) is now available for streaming on Bandcamp.
The song is a hell of a ripping ride, a head-spinning swirl of ceaselessly thundering drums, rapidly writhing riffs, and throat-tearing yells and screams. It’s a blood-quickening rampage with an almost heroic atmosphere that gives you no chance to catch your breath until the final minute. I wish I knew what the final spoken words mean.
The album will be released by Vánagandr, Fallen Empire , and Signal Rex on cassette, vinyl and CD respectively. The cover was engraved in copper and printed by an artist named Skaðvaldur.
For the final song in this collection the blood spray from my scalp wound took a sharp turn away from all the grimness featured above and landed on a Romanian band named Dirty Shirt. A few days ago they released a video for a track named “Maramu” taken from their album Dirtylicious, which was released last spring. According to the press release I received:
“As the song is inspired by several traditional songs from the region of Maramureș (Northwest Transylvania, Romania), the video captures its ambiance through the music and the images. This is why the video was shot in the village of Sugău, near Sighetu Marmației, the ancient capital of Maramureș, and why the musicians were wearing traditional costumes.”
The music is a combination of folk music and heavy riffing, and when further combined with the fun in the video, it’s just a hell of a lot of good-hearted merriment both to see and to hear. And you can headbang to it, too. Enjoy:
Havukruunu is a great band….really liked both demos as well as their EP. Their demo from 2014 and their EP from 2015 are available on Bandcamp at name your own price…their 2013 demo is their as well for like a $1.00….http://hammerstunde.bandcamp.com/
Cant wait for new Vastum
Just heard about the Naðra full length this morning…nice!
I’m wondering what my success ratio is in writing about underground bands you don’t already know about. One in 10? One in 100?
Holy shit I’m looking forward to listen deeper at the top three releases.
Vastum’s Hole Below will be released November 6th (CD + Digital), with LP release in December, by the way.
And the Dirty Shirt video brought a smile to my lips 🙂
Fallen Empire!! Oh so it will be released next summer! 😀
In all honesty I love Fallen Empire and their roster.
Pumped for new Vastum!! and man.. don’t you just love The Finns?
Is that not PC? Can we call them The Finns? Well.. either way, they always impress with their metal.
I’ll just go ahead and say the same for the Icelandic. Love em!!
I though Finns was the proper dictionary word for Finnish people. Now “Fins” would be a different story….
i love “Terhen”, it’s crazy good 😀
Nađra! What a track!!! Thanks for this. I have never heard about them but I am huge fan of the releases by Carpe Noctem and Misþyrming.
Cool, glad you enjoyed it.
Loving what I hear from Vastum and Havukruunu.