When I look at the band, and I listen to the album; I’m noticing some stark contrasts between these four hipsters from New Hampshire and their music. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from American black metal, it’s that when a bunch of hipsters get together to play black metal, it’s going to be something fucking amazing; even if you can’t believe it. Take Inter Arma, for instance. In this day and age of “we don’t need no fucking corpse paint to be black metal”, it’s certainly apparent that the spirit of the music still exists regardless of what the musicians themselves look like. There’s no upside down crosses, bullet belts, t-shirts of obscure black metal bands that barely anyone has ever heard of… hell, these guys could go down to the grocery store and no one would even think for an instant that they play this kind of loud and raucous music. And that’s a great thing in my book, because Vattnet Viskar play some amazing modern black metal with bits of doom and atmosphere that’s just as great as anything else you’d expect from our current American black metal scene.
“New Alchemy” comes blazing in, just as heavy and punishing as any black metal track that you’ve ever heard, yet there’s a bit of atmospheric fuzz to it that makes the whole thing sound a bit grittier. But then we’ve got the sludgier “Fog Of Apathy” which throws bits of black metal in with shoegaze atmospheres, for a mesmerizing finish. Sometimes these guys like to throw a bit of post metal influence in on tracks like “Breath Of The Almighty”, but make no mistake; because blast beats do manage to find their way on the track, as do other surprising injections. Without going too far into detail, I can certainly say that Vattnet Viskar offer exactly what I’d like to hear from black metal these days, something new and different. To elitists, this is complete blasphemy. But to the more open-minded of us, it’s a quite interesting release that’s certainly worth dipping a toe into. Genre-bending is a word that I seldom use, but these four guys have managed to do just that; and in the process manage do justice to every style that they incorporate into their sound. If Satyricon brought forth the new sound of black metal in 2006, then I think that Vattnet Viskar among many others; are helping to mold and shape the sound of black metal for today’s generation. Sure, it might put a frown on the faces of some – but aren’t they supposed to be unhappy anyway? All joking aside, if you’ve liked what you’ve heard from American acts like Deafheaven, Inter Arma and Woe, then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t add this debut Vattnet Viksar record to your collection as well. Not one reason that I can think of at all. (Eric May)
Purchase Sky Swallower here: http://www.cmdistro.com/Artist/Vattnet_Viskar/95769