KALMANKANTAJA / HERMÓÐR - Split CD (WOLFSPELL Records 2015)
Let’s waste no time and listen to another fantastic release from Wolfspell Records, which I have a pleasure to review and recommend. And this is split CD, with Kalmankantaja and Hermóðr. Obviously I already know Hermóðr quite well, but Kalmankantaja is new for me. And they’re opening this CD with two songs.
Well, Kalmankantaja are Finnish and it’s a band, which – what a surprise – is just as productive as Rafn and his Hermóðr. It’s one man project, formed by Grim666 and I know already this dude from Seal of Beleth and Grimigr. He’s also a member of few other bands, including Wyrd, which is probably the most known of them all. Kalmankantaja is I think his solo thing and only within three years he released around seven full length albums, six splits plus some EPs. Don’t ask me what’s the point for such frequent release of your work and if the quantity comes together with quality, I just don’t know. It’s the first time I listen to Kalmankantaja. And well, if the other stuff is as good as these two tracks, then I don’t mind how many albums Mr. Grim releases. It’s really good atmospheric, depressive, rough sounding black metal with small melodic touch and proper dark, eerie aura. Both songs are very long, closing in ten minutes and both are played in slow tempos, what can maybe sometimes bring the impression of monotonous, repetitive doomy music, but I don’t care. I like the drowned in melancholy harmonic riffs (which include quite few clean sounding guitar tones), vocals are also not bad, so is the production. I suppose that if they included some faster parts in the structure of the songs, then the whole aura would be destroyed, so it’s just good as it is. The second song “Varjojen Valtakunta” is probably my favourite from the whole CD, it’s really damn good, but expect the whole material to sound very solid and interesting. Kalmankantaja is definitely a very nice discovery.
Hermóðr also offers a couple of new tracks and surely they don’t disappoint, although I must admit that maybe these two songs – which again are bloody looonnngg – are maybe more monotonous and one dimensional not only when compared to Kalmankantaja, but also when compared to some of the previous Hermóðr songs. But I’m not saying it’s boring and shit, no, no no! It do require some attention from you to drown within the disturbing, ultra gloomy aura, to capture the eerie, cold feeling of it. Once you’re there, the music will paint pictures, bring visions of desolation, sadness, melancholic, frozen landscapes and so on. “Förfallen & Övergiven” is fourteen minutes long anthem, then “Vredesmod” takes your attention for nine minutes. You can call it boring stuff, you can moan that it’s too doomy or too monotonous… who cares?! Rafn is surely talented dude, it’s another recording of his that I truly enjoyed, so I can only hope to hear more from him in the future. And I still have some of his previous albums to pick up, so there’s plenty of music to come.
Standout track: “Varjojen Valtakunta”
Final rate: 70/100