BY NORSE MUSIC
NORDIC FOLK: Long gone are the days of metal’s elitist exclusivity, where guitars and drums reigned king and all else was ignored or discarded. Metal fandom now encompasses a vast expanse of esoteric outliers, most notably within pagan folk and Scandinavian traditionals. Among the genre’s purveyors stands Nordic musical collective Wardruna, who has just released an epic new opus, Kvitravn.
Translating to “White Raven” in Nordic, Kvitravn dwells in a dreamy darkness, eliciting a tone that is as somber as it is meditative. Once again, mastermind Einer Selvik utilizes a conglomeration of archaic instruments, including Kravik-lyre, Trossingen-lyre, Taglharpa, Sootharp, Langeleik, Crwth, Goat- horn, Lur, Bronze-lur, flute, and Moraharpa, while layering dramatic chants and ornate vocals to create an authentic spiritual atmosphere.
Methodical vocal harmonies make each passage feel fuller, carefully working together with each instrument and natural sounds to elevate one another. The overall tone is peaceful and ethereal, delivering a sense of organic mysticism that envelops the listener within a deep and introspective experience throughout all 11 tracks.
Although deeply rooted within ancient traditions, Kvitravn still feels fresh and contemporary as a whole. This is likely in part due to Wardruna’s ability to evolve with each record, always perfecting what they have already done best. ~ Katy Irizarry