ARTIST:

WARDRUNA

(NORWAY)
TITLE:

KVITRAVN

(2021)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PAGAN/VIKING METAL

TAGS:
Acoustic, Female vocals, Melancholic
"With 'Kvitravn", Wardruna embarks us on his drakkar to plunge us into a distant era with icy and bewitching Nordic folk atmospheres."
CHILDERIC THOR (12.02.2021)  
4/5
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In his own way, Einar Selvik is a genius in that he has almost single-handedly fashioned a genre that could be called Nordic folk ambient. So much so that Wardruna, the project that allowed him to cultivate his passion (better, his reason for living) for the culture of ancient times, quickly became a phenomenon that propelled the former drummer of Gorgoroth far beyond the frontier of metal, black or not. The Vikings are fashionable, even if the Norwegian rejects this term to qualify an art far from being reduced to this people. In fact, there are countless collectives feeding on this Nordic humus without ever managing to capture its essence as well as our man, whose activity as a musician is coupled with historical research on instruments and pre-Christian Scandinavian civilization. Therein lies the difference between the master and all his disciples.

After the "Runaljod" trilogy, which has permanently fixed its imprint in the frozen rock of these eternal fjords, Wardruna has granted himself a kind of acoustic interlude with the astonishing "Skald", a refined opus that integrates perfectly into his universe. But many of us were on the lookout for the return of the Norwegian in the ample and mythological format for which it is famous. Delayed by the health crisis, "Kvitravn" is finally here and it picks up where "Ragnarok" left off and should start a new cycle.

Through the theme of the white raven, messenger between the living and the dead, Einar is interested in the relationship between men and nature, exploring animism within Nordic cultures. This concept ask for a mineral and pulsating, twilight and immersive expression. Although the record is full of details and arrangements, there is no need to go through it several times to penetrate its intimacy. As soon as 'Synkverv' pushes open the doors, the listener is already carried away, transported to a remote era full of mysteries, to a fantasized land. Wardruna makes no attempt to reinvent himself. His signature remains recognizable among a thousand, but this time he gives it a new emphasis, more cinematic than ever, devoting to "Kvitravn" the allure of a soundtrack, an impression confirmed by the clip accompanying the title song.

The record is lived like a story that culminates in the six-minute finale, 'Andvevarljod',  haunted by a female ensemble evocative of a shamanic world. On this subject, the nobility and purity of the singing on this album, in this particular case but also in a general way, in all of Wardruna's work, is absolutely to be praised. Lindy Fay-Hella's voice remains as bewitching ('Grá') as ever, while Einar's is fascinating, a true instrument in its own right, seemingly connected to the natural elements. Musically, "Kvitravn" roars with a misty and percussive beauty, woven together by a whole range of traditional instruments, recreated for the occasion, from the lyre to the horn, while the percussion instruments still play their role as channels between different worlds. The ensemble contributes to a moving creation in which each piece vibrates with an icy dramaturgy, often sad ('Kvit Hjort'), always with a sententious majesty.

"Kvitravn" opens a new chapter for Wardruna, whose mineral identity he refines. If the faithful will obviously be spellbound, we cannot advise others too much to embark on board this drakkar capable of plunging us into this distant era and grasping this Nordic culture whose Viking label seems quite reductive.


More informations on http://www.wardruna.com/



SIMILAR BANDS:
DIN BRAD


TRACK LISTING:
01. Synkverv (turn-sight)
02. Kvitravn (white Raven)
03. Skugge (shadow)
04. Grá (grey)
05. Fylgjutal (speech Of The Fetch)
06. Munin (memory)
07. Kvit Hjort (white Stag)
08. Viseveiding (song-hunting)
09. Ni (nine)
10. Vindavlarljod (song Of The Wind-bred)
11. Andvevarljod (song Of The Spirit-weavers)

LINEUP:
Einar Selvik: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie / Kravik-lyre, Taglharpa, Bukkehorn
Lindy Fay Hella: Chant
   
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