After listening through Settler, the latest from New Hampshire’s Vattnet Viskar, I’m honestly perplexed as to why I never dove into their music before. Vattnet Viskar’s brand of modern black metal is like a more focused/less drama-filled Nachtmystium or a consistent Satyricon, but with hints of Roadrunner Records one album wonder Five Pointe O and way more brutal.
With a squeal of feedback and a drum roll, “Dawnlands” begins and Vattnet Viskar’s latest album Settler explodes to life with blast beats and Nick Thornbury’s vicious growl. It’s an epic black metal jam that sees Thornbury and the rest of Vattnet Viskar really step up their game after 2013’s impressive Sky Swallower. And as you delve further into Settler, you’ll find that every song contained within is just as or more epic than the opener. “Colony” is a cacophony of Chris Alfieri and Thornbury’s guitars which do a fine job keeping up with drummer Seamus Menihane’s stunning speeds and time changes.
“Yeam” is kind of like the aforementioned Five Pointe O’s “Syndrome Down” mixed with Fear Factory’s “God Eater” off 2012’s The Industrialist while “Glory” creeps along with Casey Aylward’s sinister bass lines amid wailing/screaming guitars. “Heirs” picks up the pace once again but soon moves into groove territory with Aylward’s bass pulsating beneath a flurry of guitar action laid down by Thornbury and Alfieri. “Settler” is a little more straightforward (Well, as straightforward as Vattnet Viskar get anyway) while closer “Coldwar” is an uplifting dirge that sprawls almost seven minutes and features some of the best metal soloing in recent years. At the end of the day, modern metal doesn’t get much better than what you’ll hear on Settler.
Settler is out on June 16th through Century Media Records. Get your copies here if you like some physical product but if you want some instant gratification, head over to Amazon or Itunes for your digital needs.