Bhleg – Äril (Nordvis Produktion)
Review by Steve Thomas-Green
When I first played this mini-album, my immediate thought was that the production made some of Burzum’s music sound over-produced. Simple strumming, biscuit tin drums, and generally a very thin sound.
Once the vocals kicked in, just after the minute mark, simple piano licks were introduced, and then choral style vocals… and gradually, the sound becomes fuller and wow, everything just clicks into place.
Excluding the first couple of minutes, this is a stunning piece of music. Sure, the music is kind of raw, but it oozes with passion and controlled aggression. You feel the anger, but it never spills over into an uncontrollable dirge. The balance between the more aggressive lead vocals and the soothing, I guess, Pagan/Viking, backing vocals works beautifully, as do the various layers of the music.
At times, this can rattle along, venturing into Black Metal territory, and at others times it can be calming with gentle acoustics and melancholic piano and also quite Folky, with mournful strings. The various textures of Bhleg’s sound blend together seamlessly and the record labels tag of Folk Metal is a fair assertion. But as the Folk side isn’t overtly prominent, Pagan/Black would also be a suitable fit.
Wherever you want to place this, it’s an excellent release, and at just 28 minutes long, there are only 3 tracks, it has left me wanting more, so I’m off to check out their back catalogue.
This out on September 27th and you can pre-order it from the link below: