Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Lyrical Theme: Folk
Release date, album: 15th December 2023
Label: Hellstain Productions
Ulvhedner the Norwegian black metal band, announced their new album Fjosmetall, which is also a celebratory album because the band has existed for 30 years as of 2023. In those 30 years, there have been some changes in the lineup, including the loss of long-standing bassist Ove, but the two members who started the band is still active and the driving force in Ulvhedner.
The band started in 1993 under the name Ulvhedner, but the name changed several times, most noteworthy they had the moniker Mithrim for an extended period of time. But eventually, they changed their name back to Ulvhedner and used that name ever since. In those 30 years they released 3 albums,”Før i tida” (English: back in the day) in 2009, the album “Legd” in 2020, and now it’s time for “Fjosmetall”.
The thing I like the most about this band is the fact that they do things differently, even though they have been around for 30 years, they make a different kind of black metal. It’s all drenched with a coating of yesterday, that feeling that everything was better back in the day, and that feeling is strongest on the new album Fjosmetall, but also in their stage presence. Their promo pics are great (see example above)
What about the new album, you say? The new album consists of 8 tracks with a run time of 46 minutes, and from the get go you get that feeling of nostalgia. Fjosmetall translates to Barn Metal, so that should give a pretty good indication about the kind of Black Metal this is.
The first track, intro “Ljåsmeden” really gives up a great vibe, you really get a feeling that brings you back to the old days. The track title means The Scythe Blacksmith in English, and the sound effects used in the track are great. My Norwegian is almost non-existing, so I don’t really have a clue what the intro is about, but it gives off a feeling that I really like.
With that nostalgic feeling set, what does the rest of the album deliver? All the tracks from the first one to the last one are well put together, and it feels like a solid album. The vocals are great, the screams, but also the slower parts. The track Arbeid i skogen (Working in the forest) is a slower song, but the flow of the music/instrumentation is great. The lyrics (I translated them from Norwegian to English) really fit the feeling of the album. Below you’ll find an example from the track mentioned.
Saddling the horse once againFrom: Arbeid i skogen
Strap on our skis, get your backpack on
The road home is long and hard.
Working in the forest is not for any kind of man
The track Gravhaugen (Burrial Mound) is a faster paced song. Right from the start, the drums are pummeling like he’s smiting a mighty axe. The vocals just hit you in the gut, you feel a kind of agony in it and that just hits you. That also goes for the second part of the track when it goes back to a more slowed down tempo and the vocals are more in a way of story telling. The lyrics of this track (and all the tracks for that matter) are great, I hope they upload an English version to MA and Bandcamp as well.
You carry the burden of your predecessors on your shouldersFrom: Gravhaugen
You drag the sins of your ancestors as your chain
Your regret no one else can answer
Your torment no one else can endure
I could keep going on and on about the feeling this album gives me, but you just need to experience it for yourself. The album will be released on the 15th of December on streaming platforms, CD, tape, and vinyl. And if it’s up to me, I would go for a physical media. The album art on this album deserves it. It is hand drawn by Helbiyon and it looks just remarkable! One of the best drawings/artwork for an album I’ve seen in a while, their label Hellstain Production has done a great job with this design.
Like I said, I could keep going on about the album, what’s good about it, but you need to experience it for yourself. Is it without flaws? No it ain’t, but that’s okay, most albums aren’t and that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I’m excited for what the band brings in the coming years, but for now, they released a great album.
I rate this album an 8 / 10
Below you will find a YouTube clip from the release of Øve Nuten
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