KALMANKANTAJA / OÞALAN - Split CD (WOLFSPELL Records - CD 2015)
I have no idea where is Wolfspell Records finding all these bands, but almost each new release from them introduces me to another unknown project. This one brings Kalmankantaja from Finland, who I got to know recently from the excellent split with Hermóðr. On this another split CD they’re joined by Oþalan from Sweden, for whom this is a debut release. And for Kalmankantaja this is like, I don’t know, 20th release in three, four years?
It doesn’t matter, their stuff on Hermóðr split was great, and so is this one. They present two tracks, which are very much in the same vein as those from the previous split. So we speak of slow paced, melancholic, sorrowful and grim sounding black metal. Again both tracks are close to ten minutes length, but again there’s not even a slightest sign of boredom, because Grim666 just knows how to build atmosphere, the riffs and harmonies he came up with are just really good and the whole song structure, arrangements and performance are brilliant. I like the harsh vocals there also, they do sound fantastic also because the lyrics are in Finnish, and this language, just like the other Scandinavian languages, always sounds kind of unique and more interesting in black metal than English, in my opinion at least. The song titles are “Hetki kuolemassa” and “Ikuiseen tuleen” and I have no idea what is Kalmankantaja singing about, but I can say that the music is just really good.
I had no idea what to expect from Oþalan, but both songs they have turned out to be not bad at all as well. Their way of black metal is even harsher, kind of more traditional, with quite fast, aggressive playing, very harsh, obscure sound and generally a grim, cold aura all over it. The general attitude is very relentless and fierce, furious black metal, but Oþalan has left some room for diversity also, there’s even piano in the ending fragment of “Dimma i den norra skogen” and beginning of “Solens återkomst” and acoustic guitar in “Gokötta”. And even if it’s nothing remarkable, it’s just good stuff and I can recommend Oþalan to the black metal maniacs also.
Final rate: 70/100