‘I come from the land of the ice and snow’ hollered someone nearly 50 years back. And today, the Scandinavian rock and metal world is truly Hammering the Gods. Musically, this could sit alongside early Led Zeppelin with its jangled guitar, and Witchcraft style of downer doom rock. Jimmy Page would surely champion these themes of ancient ones, pagan lands, and whispers on the wind. This album touches on the vastness and extremities of wilderness, something that as we become ever more ‘civilised’ and city dwelling we lose touch with this very real threat that nature can manifest itself.
Maybe this is a journey to the past, or maybe this is a journey to a fantasy land, or even a glimse in to the post-apocalyptic future. Its nature, but not in a pastoral hippy-dippy sense, this nature has sharp claws and big teeth! Sung in Swedish (I assume), Saiva lives in Lapland, the far northern parts of Scandinavia, and although I can’t read the titles, I can feel the essence of the music and vocal. The guitar scales are simplistic yet ever so emotive, matched with neo-operatic style vocals giving
Release date: October 13, 2017
that gothic bombast. Not surprising to learn that Panoptican and Grift members helped out on this album, as the similar trend runs through each of those artists.
The Grift influence on “Dar vindar vander” creates a gloomier, blackened pagan feel and sits well within the holistic ambience of the album and this opens the door for a second half of the album that packs a slightly bigger punch. ‘Varsel I vildmark’ cranks up the accelerator a notch or two, as this stomps its way through seven minutes of fist pumping, head banging, torch bearing blackened heavy downer rock.
Not that I keep one, but this would be on my AOTY list.