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Bhleg - Äril Award winner

by Joseth Radiant at 17 September 2019, 5:10 PM

When one typically mentions where Grade A quality lo-fi Black Metal, of course one immediately thinks of the Scandinavian corner of the world and in particular Norway. It is easy to see why, as some of the best has come from there. But their eastern neighbors Sweden are just as much of a powerhouse for this subgenre, and BHLEG proves this will aplomb with their EP “Äril”. This is indeed lo-fi Black Metal, but it’s not so lo-fi that you can’t hear all the instruments and vocals if you’re so inclined. The screams aren’t all that audible, but they’re defined enough to where they almost sound like an incantation and they add to overall vibe in a stirring way.

The subject matter of this EP is honestly where I think Black Metal shines the best. Rather than making it about seyyytunnn and the like, they channel the ancient roots of their corner of the world. Quoting their Bandcamp page, they describe the mood set by the EP as, “When the spirit of summer, the rays of the sun goes out, another fire is lit. A fire that burns nature into autumn colors, where the landscape turns into a reflection of its own flames. When the fire becomes ash, life slowly but surely falls into hibernation to broaden the path for Ragnarök and the winter of life.”

To me, there’s no better way to describe this EP. With the word “Äril” being the Swedish word for hearth, it is very easy to see how the inspiration of this album comes from the darkness that envelops the Northern hemisphere of the world for most of the year in the winter, and you can’t help but be drawn into the world of dark nights, bitter cold, and stark isolation. Black Metal surely becomes amazing when it focuses on taking the listener on a journey in the theatre of the mind, and BHLEG certainly does this excellently. I’ll definitely be keeping these Swedes on my radar. It’s rare that I find a Black Metal band that can evoke such a strong response to their music in a similar way that HEILUNG's music does, but I’m really impressed. Very strong EP and satisfying to listen to, and yes, as always, BUY THIS EP!!!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Vittra Och Dö (Wither And Die)
2. Från Eld Till Aska (From Fire To Ashes)
3. Skördetid (Harvest Time)
Ludvig Andersson - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Simon Johansson - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
Record Label: Nordvis Produktion


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