Svederna – Svedjeland (2018) REVIEW

Swedish black metal band Svederna wasted no time in conjuring their debut full-length ‘Äntra’ roughly a year after forming yet it’s conception and the impression left was fairly remarkable considering the overfed Swedish black metal surfing today’s digital landscape. ‘Äntra’ was characteristically driven and aggressive yet orthodox not unlike a less tightly-wound White Death or early Taake with loftier, dynamic musical goals. Though their inspirations were pulled from classic Scandinavian black metal and heavy metal alike, the overall sound was modern and impressive in it’s varied and occasionally folk-tinged movements. In the five year interim between albums Svederna haven’t lost that uniquely Swedish black metal personality but they’ve focused in on their heavier, thrashing aspects and create a perhaps less epic, but more ‘relevant’ set of songs with ‘Svedjeland’.

There is some spirit of nature unhinged and released in the opening moments of “Branda Jordens Taktik” that not only invoke the bolder cock-rocked stage persona of bands like Taake, but also redistributes the earliest energetics of Swedish black/heavy group Unpure alongside some sharply understated melodic black metal guitar work. The thrash influenced sections are typically sporadic and unpredictable not unlike a softened take on Nifelheim‘s debut without ever going full-on ‘Blood Fire Death’. Most of these elements are gilding, though, as the bulk of the album resembles a style somewhere between the sinister fury of Adzalaan and the more recent efforts from Arckanum, particularly their ‘Helvítismyrkr’ album which utilized similar classic metal and melodic black metal alternations for effect. There is an excellent balance of jangling semi-melodic black metal guitar work and modern Scandinavian black metal in effect on ‘Svedjeland’ though I found myself missing some of the folk-ish moments from ‘Äntra’ amidst the flurry of this record’s finer, more intensely detailed guitar work.

The middle of the album wouldn’t necessarily survive without frequent shifts in pacing and some clever variation in the drum arrangements. The tremolo-picked sections begin to drone on forever with repeated listening. “Evardlig” and “Har Av Hin” particularly glaze over too much of the same territory and I found myself anticipating skipping at least one of them during later full listens. So, my enthusiasm for Svederna’s second album drained slightly as I insulated myself with it’s sound but not enough for the listening experience to be uncomfortable. The melodic guitar work and organic sounding production highlight ‘Svedjeland’ enough that smaller moments of redundancy are easy to overlook. If you’re looking for tracks to preview “Kulor & Lander”, “Moratorium” and the opener are all great, riff-centric places to start.

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Artist Svederna
Type Album
Released April 20, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Svederna’s Bandcamp! Follow Svederna on Facebook
Genres
Melodic Black Metal

Krigare av helvetet. 3.75/5.0

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