Nasheim – Solens Vemod (Northern Silence Productions)

Thursday, 24th April 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Dark, droning, and depressive are the keys to Nasheim’s long awaited full-length debut (12 years in the making and the first offering in seven years). Yet another one-man black metal band, mastermind Erik Grahn is in charge of all of the creative reigns here. With creative influences from Agalloch, Drudkh, Bathory, and Empyrium, things feel noticeably bleak and cold but with enough varied influences to keep from things from feeling stale. Never sounding completely evil in nature, even at it’s most aggressive, Solens Vemod rather soothes and calms with reflective gloom and occasional beauty.

Only four songs comprise the 47-minute album, making it easy to discuss the individual tracks. Opening “En Nyckel Till Drommars Grind” takes its time to get going, keeping a droning pace for the first half of the song. The final half of the track features an almost Katatonia-like vibe with its depressive melodies. “Jag Fyller Min Bagare Med Tomhet” is the most visceral of the bunch, offering blast beats and some more majestic riffs to contrast moments of acoustic guitars. “Att Av Odets Tradar Vava Sorg” feels like the pick of the litter, with almost as much focus to the clean vocals as the blackenend rasps and plenty of acoustic moments at the opening. It later pushes towards heavier tones and fevered blasts before the final three minutes usher in some almost upbeat, grand melodies. Lastly, “Vordnad” ends things with the most atmospheric feeling of the album, as well as the most soothing.

Through varied atmospheres all sharing a bleak quality, Nasheim has crafted an atmospheric black metal success. Allowing everything to have it’s own space and breath, without making the listener question the length of the tracks is a feat that not all in the genre can pull off. Hopefully it won’t take another 12 years to get the next album.

Nasheim on Bandcamp