I'm here today, regardless of what the intro paragraph above might say, to premiere a track from an album which is innovation writ large. Lör's upcoming "In Forgotten Sleep (which will see release on August 11th) not only innovates but also does it in a genre which is often known for its progressive attitudes or its contemporary relevance. I'm talking, of course, about power metal, a genre that's perhaps the most calcified of all metal sub-genres. The last album I can recall that did anything fresh with it was Elvenking's The Pagan Manifesto or perhaps Heid's Alba. However, Lör do not seem content with letting that stay that way, as the title track streaming below will more than attest to that. Head on over there now for your listen and let's meet after for a brief discussion on how Lör is dragging the genre, kicking and screaming, into the future.
Season of Mist teamed up in 2014 with Drudkh frontman Roman Sayenko to remedy the implicitness of folk tradition within black metal. Together, they gave us an underrated gem of an album called One and All, Together, for Home. It is nothing else but a collaboration album spanning various traditions, sounds and histories to shine a light on some of the folk music that acts as fuel for black metal. The roster includes the aforementioned Primordial, but also Haive, Winterfylleth, Kampfar and more. Together, they've compiled an album made up of a rich tapestry of styles, from true-to-source renditions of ancient songs to more metal oriented interpretations of said melodies. The guidelines for the contributing acts seem to have fast and loose and thus, the album features varied and disparate approaches, lending it a strong sense of personal, creative identity.
Last week, we told you at length about Heid and their Alba, a moving blackened death/folk album which uniquely relies on Iberian mythology and folklore for its thematic roots. Today, we're exceedingly proud to premiere a music video for the title track from that album. As we said in the review, it's one of the best tracks to start from if you seek an understanding of what makes the band tick. From the powerful vocals, through the well crafted violin parts and all the way to the melodeath riffs, "Alba" is a perfect mix of everything Heid are trying to achieve on the album. The video focuses on the band performing but intersperses those images with landscape and, mostly, psychedelic characters resplendent in colorful, almost neon, body paint. Head on over below to catch if for the first time yourself!
A relatively unknown band from Spain, Heid aren't apologetic about the style of metal they play. Their press emails, drafted by the band themselves, proudly declare their self definition. And for good reason; they don't only make excellent music which draws on folk instrumentation and composition but they also infuse their music with Iberian mythology, a flavor of paganism not often witnessed in metal. These two elements combine to create Alba, a moving and catchy album which offers entrance into a rich world of myth which we (as in, Western culture) don't often stop to consider.