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Kvaen - The Funeral Pyre Award winner

The Funeral Pyre
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 13 February 2020, 5:16 AM

There are infinite ways of blending Metal genres to create different insights. The bands don’t need to copy anything that was already done, because music is an expression of what the musicians have in their hearts, so it’s almost impossible to be anyone else that yourself (if some people insists to play as they were another person). And the Swedish musician JB knows what this idea means, because on “The Funeral Pyre”, the debut release of his project called KVAEN, is really amazing.

Musically, it can be described as a form of Black Metal filled with influences from Old School Thrash Metal from Germany, added many Folk/Pagan influences that permeate the songs. It’s brutal and done with amazing chilling guitar riffs, but the melodies that arise on the tracks are great (especially during the guitar solos), creating a contrast that works perfectly. The vocals are done in a traditional shrieked way, and bass guitar and drums are creating a charming and solid rhythmic basis. It can be compared to BATHORY during “Blood Fire Death” age or like DISSECTION would sound during “Storm of the Light’s Bane” times if the band had evident Thrash Metal influences back then. But these comparisons can’t be taken so deeply, because the creative power of the band (it’s a one man band, to be exact) and its energy is really amazing.

The sound quality was conceived to be as clear as a Black/Thrash Metal album can be, always having the idea that the listener must understand what is being played. But the raw and filthy essence of the album comes from the nasty organic instrumental tunes used, nothing extremely worked, what means that an Old School feeling can be heard, that same one that can be felt on releases from 94-95.

Musically, there isn’t too much to say that aren’t praises for it. And it’s hard to not surrender to songs as the brutal “Revenge by Fire” (that presents very good tempo changes) and “Yee Naaldlooshii” (as brutal and darkened as the first one, but the deeper and melodic moments are amazing), the sharp assaulting melodies of “The Funeral Pyre” (the guitar riffs and solos are excellent on this one), the fusion of Thrash Metal aggressive essence with melodic Folk Black Metal harmonies shown on “Septem Peccata Mortalia” (some little changes of vocal tunes heard are great), the bitter harsh melodies of “The Wolves Throne”, and… Just hear the entire album, because it’s really excellent. No words more than that are needed.

KVAEN is really a great new name, and let’s hope that “The Funeral Pyre” won’t be the band’s only release.

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Revenge by Fire
2. Yee Naaldlooshii
3. The Funeral Pyre
4. Septem Peccata Mortalia
5. The Wolves Throne
6. AS We Serve the Masters Plan
7. Bestial Winter
8. Hymn to Kvaenland
JB - All Instruments
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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