Given the absolute wealth of creativity within heavy music, particularly in Finland, in today’s climate, to stand out from an increasingly overcrowded market is a difficult task indeed. Not only can you bare similarities to your fellow countrymen, for a band to truly make a splash, you better have some tricks up your sleeve. Enter Infirmum who look set to make waves with their debut full-length effort, “Walls of Sorrow.”
Expanding on the promise shown with 2018’s self-titled EP, “Walls of Sorrow” showcases post and progressive tendencies fusing with the colossal weight of doom metal to create a listening experience that will leave you breathless. Walking a tight rope between delicate lines of melody to passages of dense heaviness that could level a building, “Walls of Sorrow” is as complex as it is rich in substance. This is best evidenced on the opening“To Darkness” which sees the band’s fusion of melodic-leaning riffs and soaring cleans, which benefits from a sparkling production job, collide head-on with monstrous doom-driven tones and relentless vocal roars that demonstrate the dualism within their soundscape.
There are moments across the record however whereby Infirmum lean more into heavier territory, showcasing the firepower within their arsenal. “Shadows of the Past” is the musical equivalent of a collapsing neutron star as dense riffing and guttural snarls entice your attention through their sheer apocalyptic weight whilst“Autumn Breeze” boasts some of the best riffs on the record, as the hooks and grooves easily cement themselves into your mind. When the band up the ante, the result is monstrous, showcasing that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. On the flip side, Infirmum lovingly embrace the melodic aspects to their sonic DNA and it is these blissful segments that make for some of the highlights on the record.
“Walls of Sorrow” sees Infirmum bloom into the band they were born to be. Emotionally evocative yet absolutely monolithic in heaviness, this is an album demonstrating a band owning their craft and the result is simply spectacular. This is a record that was built to be enjoyed in its entirety and it is phenomenal listening experience. Strap yourself in, it’s quite the journey.
I’ve been listening to the Vederkast‘s debut album “Northern Gothic” quite a lot recently (thanks to Annie from Prog Sphere Promotions who hooked me up with this band), and I even wrote about the album here.
Drummer Magnus Tornensis and guitarist Sindre Bakland answered my questions about the band and their work, so make sure to read the interview below.
What does the band’s name represent?
“Vederkast” is an old word from Northern Norwegian myth used to describe a curse or sickness that was believed to come from the underworld.
Where did the idea of Vederkast come from?
Magnus: Sindre and I first started jamming on some ideas to see if we could do a project together. We started to see the potential and asked Paul and Finn if they wanted to give it a shot. We started writing songs together and hit the studio at a very early stage. Waiting for things to happen is not for us, I guess.
Sindre: It’s cool to think about that we have come this far after just one year, and it really makes us want to take it to the next level!
Vederkast is a young band, but your sound feels very mature. Where did you gain your experiences?
Magnus: Thanks for the age compliment! I just turned 30, so that helps with my crisis, haha!
The sound just evolved as we played together I think. We have played a lot of different styles of music for many years within our respective bands and projects, yet with Vederkast it sort of felt like starting from scratch, at least for me. It is a lot more heavy and technically challenging than what I’ve done before, so I have definitely developed my playing a lot in the process, having to do things that I usually wouldn’t think about doing. I personally thank my diverse background as a musician and a music listener for being able to contribute to the Vederkast sound.
Let’s talk about your new album “Northern Gothic.” Describe your music.
Sindre: It is a complex record with lots of variation and dynamics, which is also what many listeners and reviewers seem to think. It is not a purebred hard rock, metal or prog album, but it certainly has influences from all those areas. The songs go from hard and somewhat chaotic to atmospheric and mellow, and we really wanted it like that. There are no screams or growling vocals, but Paul’s voice can still be aggressive as hell when he needs it to be. You could say that it challenges the listener, and I think that there are new elements to be discovered when listening to it a second or third time.
Is there a certain concept that “Northern Gothic” follows?
Regarding the music, I think the previous question pretty much sums it up. When it comes to lyrics, they are not exactly stories of sunshine and happiness, but rather exploring different states of darkness and sometimes mourning.
You just finished a European tour. How was it?
Magnus: It was great to be able to see new places and play for new people. We played some cool clubs and got nice feedback along the way, and definitely gained some new friends!
Sindre: Playing concerts is the thing we really love, so we want to be touring a lot more.
How does a Vederkast gig look like? Are you satisfied with the feedback of audiences?
Magnus: We always give it all we got and do our best to bring all the energy of the songs out to the crowd. We’re not really a crazy moshpit kind of band, although we have experienced that as well. I sometimes look at people trying to headbang to riffs in strange time signatures, and that’s so cool! The best crowds we have played for are the ones that react to the songs and sections and really look like they’re listening. These are also the people that talk to us most after the show. I guess we draw a lot of musicians and music geeks (in a good way) to our shows, and that’s wonderful. However, there’s also a side to us that’s more rock n’ roll and dare I say somewhat catchy, so you don’t have to own 2000 vinyl records and win every music quiz you’re in to enjoy a Vederkast show!
How do you see rock music today?
Magnus: I could definitely be better at checking out new music, but I know that there’s a lot going on. We live in a very culturally vibrant town considering its size, and there are a lot of cool up and coming acts in our region. Thinking in a more global perspective, I’m confident that the big trends right now, especially the whole EDM thing, is not going to last. And even if it does, or something new takes over, true rock/metal/prog fans will not be deceived into leaving their passion. We believe in rock!
This next question doesn’t have much to do with music. It’s about Tromso. Do you guys freeze over there?
Magnus: No way, we’re Northerners!
Okay, it can get a little cold and dark here, but maybe that’s what inspires the music?
Sindre: The nature in the north of Norway is so amazing it makes up for the darkness and the cold.
Any final words?
Please listen to the album, let us know what you think, and hopefully we’ll see you in your home town soon!
News, Interviews & Reviews from the Metal World and Beyond
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