There is one thing I know for a fact, I will never get sick of hearing another new swampy folk metal album. In the last few weeks I got to review the latest releases from Abracadabra, Vorgrum and Rogatiy Koloko….all excellent releases. Now we can add the debut from Sweden’s Bergsvriden to the list as well. 7 Tracks of rotting logs and muck ridden folk metal. Sounding like Finntroll crawling out of a recently dug grave, Bergsvriden have created a pretty murky debut with “I Vitterhetens Becksvarta Gömmen”.
This trio has a decidedly low-fi, overly bassy sound which suits the music perfectly. I know this is going to probably be the weirdest comparison of a folk metal album you have ever heard, but after seeing the cover and listening to it, the first album that came to mind was Mortiis “Crypt of the Wizard” (The finest purveyor of dungeon synth EVER… at least up until “The Stargate”) so you know if it has something in common with the cold dark landscapes of Mortiis of old, then this is the real deal. While not as orchestrated obviously, Bergsvriden are writing material along the same gloomy mist shrouded path in the woods with no exit in sight while something is stalking you in the shadows. The stripped down sound with brooding/shrieking vocals, guitar, bass and drums along with a dash here and there of folk instruments/backing vocals are on the verge of black metal. However, I think there is a feeling more of a twisted fairy tale then of a human sacrifice. The songs are all relatively short (a couple of minutes each) which is the only disappointing thing about this release is there needs to be more of it, not necessarily longer songs but a few more tracks would have been nice because at around 19 minutes, you are done. From opening intro “Den Bergsvridnes Ankomst” into “Vinterfader”, the stage is set for what is sure to be a long scary night in the forest. At just over 4 minutes “Haxans Kylande Viskning” is the magnum opus here with Bergsvriden channeling a little Mysticum and old Mayhem in the process. The last tracks is, if you can believe it, a more maniacal cover version of Trollfest’s “Skogsfest”, I didn’t think it would fit in with the other tracks, but Bergsvriden made it work as the closer.
So next time you are in the woods on the way to pay a visit to the Troll King, bring this record along, you’ll just have to keep it on repeat for your journey….great debut.
1. Den Bergsvridnes ankomst
3. Tordöntrummans slag
5. Häxans kylande viskning
6. Jag ska äta dig
7. Skogsfest (Trollfest cover)