Sylvaine – Eg Er Framand (Season of Mist)

Wednesday, 20th March 2024
Rating: 8.5/10

Sylvaine’s Kathrine Shepard has always been one to take listeners on a deep journey with her music. Unafraid to stick to a simply metal formatting, Sylvaine has provided expressive outlets and a multi-faceted approach that does whatever it needs to in order to truly capture the needs of a particular song or even album. Such is the case here with the Eg Er Framand EP, which follows 2022’s full-length Nova. This EP doesn’t come close to the heavier side of Sylvaine, providing reworked Norwegian folk songs and some of her own design into a mixture that’s equal parts mysterious, ethereal, and reflective.

With a release like Eg Er Framand, it feels more important to discuss the feelings and takeaways from the music itself than to dissect down the particular songs. As mentioned above, this is a purely folk experience not touching the metallic realms, with minimal arrangements of church organ, gentle guitar, and percussion guiding Kathrine Shepard’s haunting and poignant vocals along through an journey that really feels like it has swept the listener into the past. It’s an utterly beautiful feeling that one can easily get lost in, complete with the vocals being of Norwegian to fit the traditional folklore tales she is channeling. Shepard’s vocals are an obvious standout in this setting, suiting the music with an angelic yet mysterious tone, ushering in this soothing calm (particularly in the quiet of the closing title track) that just washes away all of the other emotions. While it may not make for an every day listen for metal fans, the genuine emotion and resonance that it provides should make it a release for people to turn to when they are in the spirit for some quiet, gentle material to reflect on.

While metal is usually relegated to a more visceral experience, Sylvaine has always found ways to explore more poignant and expressive options. Even with minimal music behind her, Sylvaine manages to completely captivate the audience and bring them along for a trip through time. Eg Er Framand isn’t the usual offering from Sylvaine, but it’s something that fans will no doubt find enamoring nonetheless. Shepard follows her own muses and leads into unrestricted musical territory, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Sylvaine, and this EP is full of examples on why she remains such an enigmatic figure.

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