Nordvis Records: Stilla + Grift


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Reviews by Jason Guest

According to the label bio, based in the woodlands of Västerbotten, one of the northernmost counties in Sweden, Nordvis Records work with musicians who “build their musical creations around old native traditions, folklore & the great outback” to celebrate melancholic and unique atmospheres. Reviewed here are releases from two bands that embody the label’s philosophy:

  • Stilla – Till Stilla Filla

  • Grift – Fyra Elegier

Stilla – Till Stilla Filla

The beautifully icy acoustic guitar that opens Stilla’s début Till Stilla Filla, though (all too) brief is a clear indication of what to expect from this hauntingly aggressive and mystical black metal release. The album is laced with dark and ominous timbres from the baleful keyboard sounds to the icy arpeggios to imbue it with the darkest weight possible. Deepening their already unique take are both the clean and the sinister spoken vocals of the hypnotic ‘Askormen’. Driven by the savage and the unremitting, the melodic aspect of the band comes to the fore on the outstanding ‘Hinsides Dagen’ where the keys work to bring a chilling light to its shady aesthetic. Of particular note is the bass and drum work in the mid-section where they combine to create a melodic and rhythmic groove for the acoustic guitar to bask in the glorious mystery of the whispers that permeate the track. Each track brings something new, something fresh, something utterly intriguing to the album and as it proceeds, Till Stilla Filla just gets better and better. Highly recommended.

Stilla – Till Stilla Filla

8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Tidlösa Vinda
  2. Aldrig Döden Minnas..
  3. Askormen
  4. Hinsides Dagen
  5. Allt är Åter
  6. Till Stilla Filla

Grift – Fyra Elegier

Grift too pay homage to black metal’s origins by harnessing all that it has brought to the world and shading it with their own perspective and creativity. Depressingly dark, the mid-tempo melancholia that flows through hout the four well-crafted tracks is infectious and what makes it more so is Perditor’s part spoken/part rasped vocal delivery. But what he brings to the EP, the music takes away. Frankly, the tracks are too similar to be considered stimulating. Melancholia may be the order of the day but this lacks the emotive burden that the nihilistic futility of such music demands. Yet with closing track ‘Bortgång’, Grift manage to avoid collapsing into complete monotony with the spoken word approach to the lyrics and the broader plain across which its despondency is rendered. Though while not as accomplished as Stilla’s début, there’s enough here to mark the band out as one to watch.

Grift – Fyra Elegier6 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Dödens dåd
  2. Förtappelsens folk
  3. Den fångne
  4. Bortgång