Kvaen is the solo project of Swedish musician Jakob Björnfot, whose resume includes membership in The Duskfall and Autumn Death, as well as live performances with other noted bands. In this new project, he turns his talents to fast-paced black metal with Pagan and Viking Metal influences, drawing upon both Norwegian and Swedish traditions from the ’90s and upon inspirations emanating from deep mountain forests and cold valleys of the northland.
Kvaen’s debut album, The Funeral Pyre, will be released on February 28th by Black Lion Records, and today we’re presenting the album’s absolutely thrilling title track.
The slow reverberatinhg guitar melody at the outset of “The Funeral Pyre” immediately pierces the mind. It becomes even brighter and more lively, transforming into a skirling dance — but is joined by thunderous low-end rhythms which, combined with those racing, whirling guitars, really get the blood pumping. The music is gloriously vibrant, but subsequent arpeggios are also spellbinding — and yet there’s also plenty of wild savagery in the scalding vocals and battering drumwork, anchored at almost all times by a spine-shaking bass that’s both jolting and gives the song an earthquaking heaviness.
Those heavyweight rhythmic components complement the high luminous leads and the swirling, fire-bright solo (performed by Necrophobic’s Sebastian Ramstedt) that highlights the song’s heart-swelling crescendo near the end. All these ingredients combined make the song a truly exhilarating experience, one that’s very easy to return to again and again.
Jakob Björnfot has told us:”’The Funeral Pyre‘ was one of the first songs that I composed for this album. I lived in a big house on a huge mountain in the VERY north of Sweden. I had nature around me everyday. It was very inspiring, to say the least. One day, I was messing around on my computer, trying out ideas. I remember that I had the fireplace burning and it was snowing outside. I wanted to write a song where I could feel the connection of spirits in Tornevalley and I have to say: I succeeded. The atmosphere, Sebastian’s solo, and the lyrics became something truly unique.”
Black Lion will release The Funeral Pyre on CD and digitally, and it’s available for pre-order now.
Below, along with today’s premiere, we’ve also included the stream of a previously released track, “Yee Naaldlooshii“, which is just as much of a full-throttle heart-pounder but also channels feelings of melancholy, wistfulness, and wrenching intensity, as well as vistas of magnificent grandeur.