BENEATH THE NCS RADAR (PART 26): TOD HUETET UEBEL, MORGON, VANHA, GRAFVITNIR,
(Our ally Gorger from Norway has again reached down beneath our radar screen and pulled up another group of underground gems, four of them this time. To find more of his discoveries, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)
Here’s four new (although that’s certainly not the right word) releases for you to hopefully find some enjoyment in. Due to coincidences, two of them are actually a year old. They’re all quite new to No Clean Singing, though, and as we all know, good music never grows stale.
TOD HUETET UEBEL – N.A.D.A.
Portuguese Tod Huetet Uebel released their first EP in 2013, a year after the band was formed, and are now ready with their second EP. In connection with their 2015 debut album Malícia, I said amongst other things that…
Tod Huetet Uebel has probably more in common with the roots of this sizzling variety of black metal (referring to the kaleidoscopic sub-genre), as they remind more about Paracletus era Deathspell Omega than Icelandic and other successors.
With Malícia, the Portuguese exhibit an ability for individual thinking and ditto relatively unique music. Frenetic atonal savage drift with maximum propulsion and engine speed through the roof might be fairly normal, but the breathless duo constantly shift gears in unpredictable patterns, while adding abundantly dystopic moods. The guitars offers lots of disturbing and unpleasant sounds, and the musical details shift so often that a danger of repetition never becomes an issue.
Behind a cover inked in blood, N.A.D.A. presents two songs called Nå and Da. The band have developed a bit, but Deathspell Omega‘s Paracletus is still a kind of common multiple.
Nå, Norwegian for “Now”, begins with sore and desperate shrieks of soulful pain, and angered, straight for the throat riffing. The song has a tincture of claustrophobia and depression, without slipping unnoticed into either kaleidoscopic nor depressive/suicidal black metal. The moods of weeping and gnashing of teeth is still thick in this rather short song of not much more than four minutes, and it’s performed with a ripping drive.
Da, Norwegian for “Then”, is a monster in duration in comparison. This one lasts for a bit over 17 minutes and compels the listener with a mood of discomfort, whether the riffs are partially stripped or if they swirl in more intense chaos. Sofia Loureiro from Vaee Solis contributes with tormented wailing that don’t make the song any less rigorous or influenced by painful hysteria.
I hold this EP in high regard, but rather than embroidering more, I’ll allow you to listen in silence.
N.A.D.A. was released by Caverna Abismal Records on May 31st.
MORGON – EVOKING ETERNITY
Having only heard Evoking Eternity about five times, I don’t know the album in and out, but I have no trouble recommending German Morgon‘s second full-length. I also approved of the band’s first album, Black Light of Liberation, when it was re-released in 2015. Evoking Eternity continues in the same course, with melodic black metal with a devilish touch. However, the sound has got a facelift, where some excess mud has been chiseled away.
Evoking Eternity is a few minutes and a couple of songs longer than its predecessor, ticking in at approximately 45 minutes. The biggest changes, however, are in said sound as well as the replacement of the drummer. The sound of the debut feels more woolly than what I remembered. As such, Morgon arebetter off with the flaming clarity they now radiate.
Drummer Ghrym has been replaced with M., who also does a good job, although I think the drumming may become slightly staccato at times. He is, however, technically skilled and does a lot of nifty stuff. Guitarist and vocalist Haglas still articulates his vokills in a rasping guttural manner, and the guitar still pours out dark, melancholic, gloomy, and ominous melodies, reinforced by thunderous bass.
The legacy after Dissection is noticeable, but not too distinct. Morgon is not alone in the world considering their expression, but they once again deliver passionate zeal and battering blows. Their melodies give the songs an individual touch and there’s a lot of variation within each song. The sequences with double bass drums in the ending Evoking Eternity, separated by calm, woeful guitar, are excellent, and Glorification of the Black Flame with its atmosphere and bellowing vocal is scorchingly devilish. However, there are many other sequences that excel, such as the wonderful closing tones of Monuments of Transcendental Power, for example.
For those who are familiar with Thulcandra, Evoking Eternity is more fiery and fervent than what Ascension Lost was.
Evoking Eternity was released by Via Nocturna on May 31st.
VANHA – WITHIN THE MIST OF SORROW
Vanha is a Swedish band that performs slow and leaden atmospheric death/doom bordering on funeral doom. The band resides about 60 km north of Gothenburg, and was created by Jan Johannson no more than a year ago. He was planing the release of a two-track single, but when Jesse Oinas joined on drums and the duo signed a deal with Black Lion, they soon changed their game plan. More songs were composed and the duration of the material extended to 45 minutes. And so, the debut was completed and released during Yuletide last year.
Within the Mist of Sorrow consists of seven songs that through just over six minutes on average explore discouraging themes. Vanha deal with death in particular, but also related themes such as suffering, sadness, loneliness, and resignation. For this melancholic purpose, piano, violin, pipe organ, and emotional clean vocals are sometimes used, along with resounding guitar, hard-hitting drums, and sorrowful growls, of course.
The band’s melodies seek to convey mankind from its most vulnerable side. And succeed. The feeling of doubt and disillusionment as one realizes that life ebbs out, that one has not achieved anything, that one will not be remembered for anything, and that it is all irreversible, is palpable.
The melodies are well written, the structures are clever enough, the execution is beautiful, and the sound is impeccable. With Within the Mist of Sorrow, Vanha deliver an impressively moody yet comfortable debut that deserves all the attention it can get from fans of the genre.
Within the Mist of Sorrow was released by Black Lion Records in late December last year.
Take a look at the lyric videos for Old Heart Fails and Into the Cold Light if you will, and check out Reaching The End and the rest of the album right here.
GRAFVITNIR – OBEISANCE TO A WITCH MOON
The Swedish trio Grafvitnir have been active for the past decade. However, from the constitution in 2007, a few years passed before all preparations were in place. The band debuted with an album in 2012, and released a demo the following year. From 2014, the guys have released an album a year. This is the fourth in the series, and the first one I become acquainted with, although NCS has presented both the second and third album, Semen Serpentis & Necrosophia.
The band plays rich and powerful black metal with angry moods and glowing pace. The lads’ melodic inclination to some extent prevents classification as traditional trve black metal, but it doesn’t automatically assign them in the midst of the melo-black either. These devils are a bit too frenzied and diabolical for such.
The trio do of course play authentic black metal, albeit not of the necrotic type. Let’s nevertheless conclude by stating that they end up in limbo between the two versions, because limbo is metal. I like both branches, and Obeisance to a Witch Moon pleases a lot. Especially considering how killer it sounds.
The vocalization’s hissing screams gives associations to an infuriated witch, who frothing in a hysterically frenzied manner lets her entire repertoire of spells hail over the listener who unwittingly dares set foot in her cursed forest. The vocals can be a matter of taste, and may be perceived as a bit hoarse and monotonous in the long run. It still appeals to this lunatic.
The sound is thundering. Sharp riffs, breathless pitch-black drumming, and audibly rumbling yet not too prominent bass, blare and resound in the witch forest. Obeisance to a Witch Moon‘s span of just under 40 minutes also suits the blistering style well.
Obeisance to a Witch Moon was released on CD by Daemon Worship Productions in December 2016, and on vinyl by Carnal Records in July 2017.
Grafvitnir–really dug that. tasty black metal. Wrote that name down on my ever-growing list. Been around for 10 years but new to me. And fuuck- loook at that album cover!
Morgon also excellent. That is top-notch melodic death. Top-notch!
I liked Vanha too, when in the mood for doom.
Thanks for introducing me to these killer bands.
they were all “under the radar” indeed.
You’re late to the party, but you did bring spirit. I’m just came by to see how much time has slipped away since my last post, as I’m currently preparing a new one. Almost a month, it seems. Oh, and you’re welcome. Glad you dug it.