Archive for October, 2020

Forn Kadr – Mystic Arcane Lands

Posted in Review with tags , , on 21st October 2020 by izaforestspirit

Forn Kadr
Mystic Arcane Lands
Released 9th June 2020
Atmospheric Folk Metal/ Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

‘Mystic Arcane Lands’ is the new EP from British atmospheric black metal duo Forn Kaldr. The band was formed in 2017 by guitarist/drummer Kaldr and bassist Robin Green. Their music is instrumental and it is influenced by nature, mythologies and bands such as Amon Amarth and Caladan Brood. All their releases are available from their Bandcamp page.

Atmospheric and melodic are the key words that come to mind when listening to this album. I actually had some trouble telling the first two songs apart. They sound so alike that had it not been for me checking the Bandcamp page, I would have assumed that this was one very long song. The title track stands out due to the ambient-style keyboard intro. The intro and some of the guitar patterns reminded me of the Australian post-black metal artist Calea Dreaming, whose work I reviewed last year. The song is well structured offering a varied pace with each instrument contributing to the atmosphere, especially the guitars. If there was a soundtrack for a walk in the woods on a cold autumn night, this would be it. The keyboard mimics the sound of raindrops falling, a calm moment before stormy weather resumes. Then the seasons change in the aptly named The Last Breath of Winter. No keyboards, the drums remain in the background and all the focus is on the atmospheric guitar passages.

In all honesty, there is not much in the vein of black metal on here. Only the final, bonus track A Forgotten Age has a black metal tinge to it due to the raw guitar riffs. It has the right kind of eerie atmosphere to it as well.

Overall, ‘Mystic Arcane Lands’ is for some those who enjoy atmospheric metal. If you are fan of black metal instrumentals, then there is a chance that you might like it too. I found it relaxing and suitable on an autumn evening at home but not particularly memorable or stimulating.

7/10
Iza Raittila

The 69 Eyes live in Tampere 2020

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 11th October 2020 by izaforestspirit

The 69 Eyes
Sorsaklubi, Tampere-Talo, Tampere, Finland
10th October 2020

With everything that has happened this year, I was not sure if this show was going to take place at all. The original date for this was meant to be 10 April 2020 as announced already last year. Then by March the worldwide pandemic had spread across Europe and every country went into lockdown. This show was one of thousands of events that ended up either cancelled or postponed. The new date was set for the autumn. A lot has changed since then. Every country had a slightly different strategy on how to tackle the new challenges, yet some things were the same. Face masks are a common sight in public places and social distancing has become the way we do things around here. While healthcare professionals worldwide continue searching for a vaccine, all we can do is follow the new rules, do our best to stay safe and live as normally as we can under the circumstances.

Live streams have become very popular. I have seen several since the lockdown began. Some were excellent, such as Behemoth’s professionally made and visually stunning ‘In Absentia Dei’, others not so impressive but still entertaining. None though are any match for a real live show. I still kept my ticket for the re-scheduled The 69 Eyes show in hope that it might still happen. Luckily a new set of security measures and guidelines was introduced for small scale events in Finland, which meant that the show was given a green light. The new social distancing regulations stated that the venue, Sorsaklubi (the smaller hall inside the Tampere-Talo) was only allowed to be filled to less than half of its normal capacity. In addition to this, the hall was divided into sections with limited seating and a specific number of people allowed to stand in each row in order to allow for social distancing. Face masks were strongly advised, everyone was instructed to keep a 2 meter distance from one another and there was hand sanitizer available in every corner. I arrived there with my mask on well in advance and I did my best to maintain a safe distance from the rest of the crowd.

This was obviously a completely different experience from the last gig I attended before the lockdown. This time there were no support bands and the Helsinki Vampires were only on for a solid hour and a half. Not the longest of sets but it was definitely long enough to enjoy. Once the band started playing, I felt relieved and oddly calm. They played many fan favorites including Gothic Girl, Brandon Lee and The Chair, new hits such as Two Horns Up along with some oldies such as Wasting The Dawn and Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams. The mask stayed on and I kept my distance but I still managed to dance a little.


In summary, I’m really glad that despite the new challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic this show was allowed to happen. It was worth spending over two hours in a face mask to see The 69 Eyes live again. It was a great show in spite of all the adversity. With all the hardship, panic and fear going in the world sometimes the perfect tonic is music. So, masks on, hand sanitizer at the ready, social distance away and get ready to Goth’n’Roll!

Iza Raittila

Fjøssnisse – Unleashed Hymns

Posted in Review with tags , on 5th October 2020 by izaforestspirit

Fjøsnisse
Unleashed Hymns
Released 3rd September 2020
Black Metal
Self Released

‘Unleashed Hymns’ is the second album from the Norwegian artist Fjøsnisse. The one-man project was launched last year by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anders Vada. This album plus most of his releases are available on Bandcamp.

It’s been a while since I reviewed any black metal… With the exception of the new album from symphonic black metallers Carach Angren, the last black metal album that got my attention was the new Mgła which came out last year. As soon as I read the description I did not need any more reasons to check this out. “Black metal with thrash metal elements” sounds pretty good to me. Also some of my favorite black metal bands are from Norway so this had the potential to be very good.

After a few listens, there are two main things that can say about this album. First of all, this is a good example of very well executed Norwegian black metal. Secondly I really like it. It is definitely my kind of black metal. The first couple of tracks made of think of ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ -era Dimmu Borgir minus the keyboards. Despite the grim vocals, reasonably fast pace, thrash metal style abrasive riffs and relentless drumming there is actually a fair bit of ambiance and melody on here. The track The Nine Lords for instance, contains a melodic guitar section towards the latter half of the song. It reminded me of the pagan black metal band Kampfar. All the tracks have a very balanced amount of both melodic and harsh elements with smooth transitions in the guitar passages. Then there is the beautifully eerie and frostbitten instrumental The Wanderer, the closing song to what has been a very enjoyable album.

In summary, there is a lot to like on ‘Unleashed Hymns’ if are into black metal. This is particularly for those who enjoyed the bands that emerged as part of the Norwegian black metal scene in the 1990s. A few decades later Fjøsnisse is continuing with the legacy.

Iza Raittila

8/10