SOJOURNER - Empires of Ash
Folkvangr Records is a US based black metal label that deals in cassette releases. Now ever since the reemergence of cassette tapes as a listening format my impression of it has not been good. The majority of product I saw was cheap quality. I mean it would've been fine in the 80s but not now. Folkvangr Records is quite the opposite. Their stuff is high quality. A couple of their releases have come in for review via promotion people. Of the three it was this particular release that stood out visually with the impressive cover artwork as well as musically.
SOJOURNER are a pagan/folk black metal act with band members who reside in different parts of the world, kinda like FOLKEARTH. Two band members live in New Zealand. Their lead vocalist calls Sweden home and another band member resides in Scotland. This release, their debut full length, originally came out in 2016 via Avantgarde Music. But now Folkvangr Records is giving it the cassette release treatment.
Getting back to the music, Empires of Ash immediately invokes a majestic feeling with it's pagan black metal sound paired with tin whistle melodies and various keys. Emilio Crespo's vocals are a more mournful rasp which is continued throughout. Multi-instrumentalist Chloe Bray adds an ethereal folksy beauty when she contributes backing vocals as well as lead on "The Pale Host". There's seven tracks in all and after you listen to em for a few times they do remind you of times of yore and castles on the hill.