The Swedish duo known as Murdryck began musical life in 1999 as a “Blackened Dark Ambient” project, disappeared for a time, and then rejuvenated themselves as a black metal band in 2014. Thereafter, they released two excellent albums, 2016’s Antologi MMXV and 2019’s Födelsen. And then, to the sorrow of Murdryck’s fans, they disbanded. But it turns out that the two men behind Murdryck weren’t finished after all.
That duo — bassist/vocalist Lars Hansson and guitarist Adam Chapman — came back together early last summer, inspired to renew their cooperation in pursuit of fresh ideas. Adopting the name Åskog, they ensconced themselves in a decrepit forest house owned by Lars deep in the woods of Värmland and wrote four songs between July and August, which they released last fall as a demo entitled Varg and which we premiered and reviewed here.
The themes of that music were spawned by the band’s presence in that old forest house, with its own morbid history and its wilderness setting, during a time when the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world into chaos. Åskog told us then: “You only have to watch nature documentaries to realize the natural world is truly a horrific place. The great outdoors is romanticized, but the reality is it is brutal with no room for concession or concern.”
That first demo earned Åskog a lot of well-deserved attention and spurred them to complete work on their debut album Varþnaþer, which again lyrically deals with the dichotomy between good and evil in the context of the natural environment. The album is now set for release on May 12th by Grind to Death Records and Leviaphonic Records (both based in Sweden), with additional physical editions coming in June via Germany’s Corrupted Flesh Records. It’s our pleasure today to reveal the third song to be disclosed from the album so far — a multi-faceted, ravishing, and viscerally frightening track named “”Måne” (moon). Continue reading »