Saturday, July 1, 2017

FROSTVANG - Avog review


Self Released

There's this hot dog place in the town where I live called Hot Weiners. They cook southern red casing hot dogs which get charred black on the grill. The place is run by a Greek family. If you order ketchup on your hot dog then you'll get excommunicated from the restaurant. Which you should because ketchup on a hot dog is disgusting. The old grandmother, who used to take orders, would ask ya "do ya want your hot dogs black or BLACK?" The last time I saw her there I told her "I want my hot dogs BLACK like my METAL." 

So what does all of that have to do with a Swedish black metal duo who's album cover has a skull face in the clouds looking down upon a forest? Well nothing really but it's a good segue into the way some bands use straight up metal styles and incorporate them into the black genre. FROSTVANG opens this, their second full length, with a grandiose number featuring a traditional metal beat accented with a folk song structure. Think Scandinavian Viking Metal style for a reference but not so much of an influence.

Musically Avog has a perfect balance of savagery and poetic beauty. The songs are not overly long, there's eleven in all and none over five minutes in length. There's plenty of second wave blackened vibe melodies hastened with agony lased somber attitude. For most of the time the songs have this "I'm Swedish and I'm pissed off" feel. Then again the vocals are being sung in their native language. Honestly when I hear "Stilla Morker" I wanna scream. Pain, anguish and harsh reality is here in a blackened landscape that pours in plenty of expanse atmospheric sustain. 

Of course this release ain't perfect. "Sista Vilan" sounds like whispered post BM bullshit. Afterwards it all falls into traditional BM with a hint that Quorthon (aka:Tomas Forsberg) in spirit is watching over things. In the end I'm kinda mixed because the beginning is great but the second half gets weak.

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