Bölverkr – 2007 Demos

I quite like this little 3-track demo, even though it is rather crude at this stage. Bölverkr plays a variety of ambient black metal not unlike Bloodaxe, and this one-man project actually pulls off the style pretty well. Like all black metal in this style, it’s about the riffs, and Bölverkr is able to craft some pretty good ones in the seven and a half minutes that this disc spins for. I would almost say that I’m impressed if I wasn’t so cynical.

The riffing is in the style of ‘Transilvanian Hunger’, so expect lots of melodic, somewhat depressive, very cold tremolo picking. The Bloodaxe-style guitar tone helps, with the blurring of notes into almost keyboard-like sounds that wash in and out of the soundstream very nicely. The vocals are soaked in reverb, ridiculously so, and echo constantly due to this, which does get somewhat annoying, but isn’t enough to remove my enjoyment of the demo entirely. The drums are machine-made and completely unimportant anyway. I’m surprised by how nice the production for this is: completely free of noise and with a genuinely pleasant guitar tone and general sonic timbre. There’s a Skrewdriver cover that’s actually pretty awesome, despite how strange it is to hear an RAC song in this musical aesthetic. It actually translates way better than you would expect, which is an achievement in and of itself.

While this is incredibly brief, I do think it’s a pretty damned good demo for what it is. I don’t know if Bölverkr would be able to pull this off for an entire album, but I’m interested in hearing it if/when it comes to that. I genuinely recommend this one as being pretty cool, so check it out if you’re into melodic, droning black metal.

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~ by noktorn on October 1, 2007.

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