We can think of a number of records and artists in recent years that graced the covers of some of our most favorite Metal mags, had glowing reviews for that much anticipated/much hyped about record, and maybe ended up at the top of any number of year end “best of” lists only to just fall flat on our ears. And hey! It’s all about your personal taste which is subjective so no need to discredit the work put into creating or promoting some of those misses for us. Which brings us to Sweden’s Besvärjelsen whose name has been kicking around for a bit in that hyped space and whose upcoming Atlas record, for us at least, is one that we urge you to believe all the accolades being hurled its’ way.
But I digress.
Like Brutus and Melissa Auf der Maur teamed up for the most greatest Desert Rawk rekkid evah, Atlas is a solid slab of unequivocal emotion and evocative heaviness that gets more delightful with every listen. “The Cardinal Ride” is all that and a bag of chips seemingly exploding with an urgent and immediate tone that thumps incessantly from the constantly moving riffage concocted by Andreas Baier and Staffan Stensland Vinrot as Erik Bäckwall’s static staccato stick hits keep a steady pace. Like early Queens Of The Stone Age (Self-titled’s rawness especially), “The Cardinal Ride” and the tracks that follow also stand out thanks in part to the unique voice behind the microphone which, in Besvärjelsen’s case, comes from Lea Amling Alazam who adds a sleek and soulful glow to every track on Atlas.
“Acheron” is built from a fiery shred and some huge grooves from Johan Rockner’s solid bass and Erik Bäckwall’s drumming before Alazam arrives like a spectre while “Clouds” is vast as scattered riffs collide with Alazam’s solemn words and then come to a head in the most glorious fashion during the chorus. “House of the Burning Light” on the other hand is an a driving ethereal dirge with these theremin-like sounds emanating amongst the gnarly riffage to conjure up all the spooky yet saccharine vibes.
“Paradise” is a burgeoning slab of old school New Wave Of British Heavy Metal to start and then transforms into a momentous Sludge Rawk slowburn, “Digerliden” concludes with a hypnotic bout of pummeling poetry, and “Descent” offers a spacey interlude with Alazam’s voice shining along with the serene shreds from Baier and Stensland Vinrot’s guitars. Crushing and cathartic to close out Atlas, “Divided Ends” is a swirling, spiraling final opus with a Doom-y intro that’s just a front for the intricate sonic throttling that’s to come with Alazam’s voice veritably shimmering against the gargantuan instrumental backdrop from Stensland Vinrot, Baier, Rockner, and Bäckwall.
Atlas releases on May 27th through Magnetic Eye Records and you can pre-order yours now AND get the latest news and noise from Besvärjelsen by heading here.