As those of you who follow us regularly probably know, I have a soft spot for Norway’s Shevils, despite the fact that their music is different from the extreme metal onslaughts that have become the (nearly) non-stop soundtrack for my life. And the appeal of the music isn’t something I can describe simply, because the music itself isn’t as simple as it may sometimes seem on the surface. There’s a dichotomy at work, a division among (and sometimes within) the songs, and it has never been more pronounced than in their new album The White Sea.
The album cover (created by Chris Faccone) is populated by fantastical cartoon characters, seemingly at war with themselves somewhere far beyond our solar system. It’s light-hearted and crazy, frenzied and frenetic. And there’s more than a little of that high-energy, off-the-wall sense of aggressive fun in The White Sea. But there’s another side to the album as well, one that shows the band growing and exploring new territories, creating more complex and dissonant sonic landscapes that resonate with a sense of menace and even despair.