Wormwood – Nattarvet

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Black Lodge Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://wormwood-official.bandcamp.com/album/nattarvet
Band Website: Wormwood | Home

BAND LINE-UP:

Nine – Vocals
T. Rydsheim – Guitars, Bass, Keys
J. Engström – Guitars
D. Johansson – Drums

Guest musicians:

Erik Grawsjö – Vocals
Mika Kivi – Vocals
Martin Björklund – Violin
Moa Sjölander – Vocals

TRACKLISTING:

1. Av Lie Och Börda
2. I Bottenlös Ävja
3. Arctic Light
4. The Achromatic Road
5. Sunnas hädanfärd
6. Tvehunger
7. The Isolationist

REVIEW:

Nattarvet is a cohesive record, transitioning from track to track effortlessly while mutating from styles such as black ‘n’ roll, heavy metal, and folk. Wormwood says of their latest release: “Soundscapes of forlorn Swedish melancholy, stories of famine and tales of unspeakable horror all of these are the backbone of Nattarvet.”

The album opens with ‘Av Lie Och Börda’ starting off with a calming, atmospheric beginning, setting the scene before further instruments and vocals are introduced to gradually build a fuller, harsh sound.

The alternation between abrasive and clean vocals in ‘I Bottenlös Ävja’ effectively communicate the change of viewpoint between the vocal narrators. The melancholic mood can especially be felt in the sung verse.

Standout tracks are ‘Arctic Light’ and ‘The Achromatic Road,’ as they both juxtapose depressive lyrics with triumphant music.

Three languages can be heard on this album: Swedish, Finnish, and English. Even if a listener only speaks one of those, the passionate delivery of lyrics, charged with stellar musicianship, creates a vivid image that depicts the narrative and emotional essence of the album as a whole. The presence of twin guitar solos, and the utilisation of tremolo picking demonstrates that Wormwood are unafraid of broadening their horizons beyond being categorised as a traditional black metal band. Final song ‘The Isolationist,’ at just under twelve minutes long, works well to summarise the entire emotion of Nattarvet.

Delving into Sweden’s nineteenth-century hardships for inspiration, Wormwood have done well to tell the tale of their country’s historical struggles in a way that is engaging for today’s audience, using multiple music sub-genres. Nattarvet, being the band’s second full-length, is impressive and appears to prelude a promising future for them.

Review by Kira Levine
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