After our editor Bønna recommended the album “Jarpi” by Blodkarsk, I was excited to give it a listen as a long-time fan of Norwegian black metal. We decided to team up for a shared track-by-track review of the album, providing our individual perspectives on each of our favorite tracks on the record. “Jarpi” is the second release by Blodkarsk and is available on Bandcamp (in digital and vinyl formats) as well as on various streaming platforms. We’ll provide links to these at the end of the review.
The second album contains 7 new tracks with a runtime of 40 minutes.
- Over svart blautmyr
- Hælv geit, hælv mainj
Norwegian black metal has always hit the right spot for me, with the combination of strong vocals, intricate riffs, and pounding drums creating a unique and powerful atmosphere. Blodkarsk’s music delivers a complete package in that regard, with standout elements that make their second album a major highlight.
While there are several impressive aspects to this album, the vocals truly stand out as the most incredible and powerful element.
A Double Dissection
The album begins with “Syndefall” which translates to “falling into sin” in English. The opening riff has a hymn-like quality to it, and though I can’t quite place it, it feels familiar. The riff sets the tone perfectly for the track’s title and lyrics, creating a cohesive and immersive experience.
Black wings in the night
The bastard trampled on the cliff
The shadow came to the shore
Warn them who were
Hanging naked in a church tower
Beat his sore back with a whip
The entire song is mixed expertly, with a perfect balance of fast-paced and mid-tempo interludes. As previously mentioned, the vocals are particularly noteworthy, adding an extra layer of greatness to the overall sound.
After such a fierce opening, the second track begins with a simple guitar, leading us into a mid-tempo black metal stomp that gets my head bobbing and my face grinning. Once again, the vocals demand your attention with a sense of desperation and anguish that I truly crave in black metal nowadays. The blasting is powerful, and when it slows down, it brings you back to nodding and grinning with great guitar hooks.
It’s a worthy title track, and the name “Jarpi” or “Jårpi” actually refers to a bird known as the Willow Ptarmigan or “Jerpe” in Norwegian. The Jerpe is a game bird known for its elusive nature and adaptability to the harsh Nordic environment, which perfectly fits the music of Blodkarsk, a band that embodies the dark and cold Nordic atmosphere of black metal.
The third track, “Præstadrap,” is another banger for me. We’re dealing with the harsh realities of the plague that haunted Norway (and, of course, most of Europe) from 1349 onwards. It tells the story of how the ones left behind had to deal with utter death and despair.
East of the sun, west of the moon
Dark clouds over the mountains
By the barn, life is taken away
The great death, brutal terror
Another highlight track for me is “Over svart blautmyr“ which roughly translates to “Over the black marshlands.” The song begins with a great Black ‘N Roll vibe, with the vocals and drums blending seamlessly. I couldn’t help but wonder if the band’s vocalist has other projects under his belt, or if this is his first band in the black metal genre.
The fifth track, “Hælv geit, hælv mainj” – “Half man, half goat”, has an excellent opening, building up momentum before going into the blasting. The creature that is half man and half goat is none other than Pan himself, out looking for trouble. This track is another example of great songwriting, and once again, the vocals steal the show.
As I write this review, snow is falling outside, making “Vinternatt” (Winter Night) the perfect soundtrack to the scenery. The riffs on this track are great, and the drums are equally impressive, with intricate details that really shine through. The album is mixed great, with each instrument occupying just the right space in the mix. Nothing is too overpowering or muffled, creating a balanced listening experience.
The closing number, “Næggelbit,” is a continuation of the theme from “Vinternatt.” It’s now even colder, and we are suffering from the pain of nailbite. We are certain that this freezing night will be the last of our lives. As everything slows down, so does the beating of our hearts and the tempo of our breathing. It’s a great closer to this excellent album.
This was a very nice recommendation and I really enjoyed the album. I haven’t listened to their previous output yet because this one has been on repeat for the last few days. But I will certainly check it out as well. I hope their next full length will be at least as good as this one, if it’s even better we are potentialy talking about something truly magnificent.
At first listen, I wasn’t fully convinced by this album. I acknowledged that it was a very solid album, but it didn’t instantly make me go crazy. But then I listened to it again. And again. So I ordered the vinyl. I looked for the lyrics. I realized I was a Blodkarsk convert. Now I’m convinced that this album will be on my top list at the end of the year, and if not, we have one hell of a black metal journey ahead of us…
You can listen to the album below (by using the Spotify link) and if you like what you hear, consider a purchase at Bandcamp. You will find that link below.
We hope you enjoyed our tag team review of ‘Jarpi’ by Blodkarsk. It was a unique opportunity for us to share our thoughts and favorite tracks from the album. If you enjoyed this format, please let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your feedback and ideas for future reviews. Thank you for reading!