The second Kvlt Albvm Ov The Weak prize goes to the glorious Walknut, with Graveforests And Their Shadows. The title alone is enough to send shivers down your black metal loving spine. And if a cover comprising of black and white desolate trees doesn’t do it for you, then I have no idea what will.
2. Motherland Ostenvegr
3. Come, Dreadful Ygg
4. The Midnightforest Of The Runes
5. Grim Woods
Graveforests And Their Shadows is what I would call a modern classic. It was released in 2007, yet I only stumbled across it around this time last year. Blown away doesn’t even cover it. Walknut are a Russian band, and the music and themes definitely prove their heritage. The lyrics are full of references to the north, and of woods and blood.
The intro of Hrimfaxi, keyboardy and synth based (like a better Dimmu Borgir), sets up the tone and feel straight away. It’s slow, funereal, and when that riff for Motherland Ostenvegr kicks in you feel as though you’ve been snapped back to reality. The vocals are orthodox black metal here, with no clean vocals to be heard in the forty plus minute running time. Screams and howls are the order of the day for Walknut. Every sound as if it’s been wrenched from the deepest, darkest, blackest pit of despair.
Come, Dreadful Ygg is ten minutes of pure and unrelenting aural assault.The drums are insane, never seeming to let up. As far as I know, one man is responsible for all this noise. The exquisitely named Stringsskald plays all instruments on the album and handles all the vocal duties. Absolute madness. The equally fantastically named Ravnaskrik writes the lyrics for the band, but I’m not sure how much involvement he has apart from that.
The Midnight Forest Of The Runes is an instrumental track, again never failing to enthrall with it’s quick fire drums and desperately fast guitars pushing you ever closer to Grim Woods. The drum sound is incredible on this album, as with a lot of black metal records it’s one of the things I seem to really pick up on. Not being a drummer, I’ve no idea about how the effects are achieved, or whether it’s even technically any good. But it’s definitely one of my favourite parts of the record, and certainly gets the toes tapping. I know, blasphemy !
I’ve been informed the drums are programmed. The more you know.
Graveforests And Their Shadows closes on another instrumental, rounding off one of the all time greatest black metal albums with majestic riffs aplenty. You’ll be standing there with your arms crossed, legs apart, slowly nodding your head in no time. Grim.
Come, Dreadful Ygg.