WORMWOOD – Nattarvet (Album)

 
 

PAUL MORGAN

WORMWOOD are not your typical black metal band, they have a progressive outlook to the genre, building on the foundation that’s been paved by their contemporaries and giving the sound a melodic Swedish makeover. They have been developing this bleak style since 2015 and received great praise for their first full length release, ‘Ghostlands: Wounds From A Bleeding Earth’, in 2017. This new release ‘Nattarvet’ is a continuation of where that album left off, developing and improving their sound, taking the band even further into the realms of the unknown.

Believe it or not, this album actually has a rather uplifting feel, despite struggling with themes of isolation and famine. I frequently found the nightmarish soundscape was punctured by shards of light breaking through the cracks, trying to lift the cloak of darkness and instill a sense of hope.  

The whole album is grand in style with a great sense of atmosphere. Woven into the frenetic riffs and ballistic drumming are sections of dark folk and some striking guitar melodies with such sublime textures that they could have been pulled straight from an Eric Clapton song book. 

We have here 7 tracks, clocking in at around the 54 minute mark but it never feels overdone or like the band is just killing time, it’s all integral to the journey the band is taking us on. It’s supremely effective. Close your eyes and I bet even with the sun shining, you can picture snowy mountains and almost feel the cold on your face with these masterful sounds transporting you away to the dark, cold, desolate plains of Sweden.

A real sense of loss comes from the passion and anger you can feel in Nine’s voice, it’s clearly a very personal work for him. He has an impressive vocal range, he bellows out tortured wails and piercing screams through to a more raspy guttural style. Most of the lyrics are in Swedish but that doesn’t detract from the overall mood, in fact it gives it a more aggressive edge.

‘Nattarvet’ is a really well balanced album that’s brilliantly put together from start to finish with a top notch production and it needs to be experienced as a whole piece. Epic!

Check out the video clip for ‘The Isolationist’