This is the discovery of the year for me so far. I ran across this quite by accident on Youtube and I’m quite ashamed to say it’s the first I’ve heard of Finland’s HAVUKRUUNU. This is their 3rd full length album, in addition to numerous splits and demos. All of which I now intend to track down diligently, because this is some of the most soaring and brilliant black metal I have heard not just this year, but any year.

Finnish is one of the most jaw-breaking languages around and I won’t insult you by trying to cope with the wild song titles in native Finnish here. I’ll just try to describe how immersive and majestic the music is. The title track starts the album off with a prolonged vocal section of clean male voices singing in native Finnish with crystalline clarity. It sounds like these voices are coming down to us from centuries ago. Then, just when you think this might be a full out folk album, the black metal comes blazing in. And oh, how it blazes! Incredible speed and yet the beautiful, twisting melodies contained within this fury are as pure as a sunrise over a mountain lake. HAVUKRUUNU have created an awe-inspiring sound combining black, folk and sometimes pure heavy metal. I hear DISSECTION, early SENTENCED, early SATYRICON, folk metal like HEIDEVOLK, the essence of classical and folk music, all merged together…in just one freaking song!

Did the band blow their load on one song and then go on to never match it again, the way so many albums do? Not just no, but HELL NO! Song #2 is every bit as raging, as inspiring and as astonishing as song #1. Each of the 7 proper tracks here is like an album in itself, like a metal symphony of many parts and riffs. The vocals go from guttural beast-roars to Viking shouts to beautiful clean singing. Occasionally the guitar plays a solo that’s just pure heavy metal, like something from SABBATH or PRIEST and then it goes back to furious intensity and complexity that marks the best of black metal.

This mesmerizing record ends with an extended stretch of crystalline synth tones that is almost glacial. This thing is an epic journey and fulfills much of the promise in black and folk metal that has been wasted by others. When you pick this up, you’ll become a Finn yourself for about 45 minutes.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

Uinuos Syomein Sota
Naturmacht Records
6 / 6