Review

HAVUKRUUNU Kelle surut soi

Album · 2017 · Melodic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
adg211288
Pagan black metal may just be the most loosely defined of the black metal sub-genres, if only by virtue of the fact that's its so often crossed with another black metal genre, usually atmospheric, that scant few artists actually play what could be described as pure pagan black metal. It's often used to add flavour and vibe to what is otherwise music that clearly belongs to the other sub-genre, with the work of acts such as Drudkh, Saor, Wodensthrone and Darkestrah springing to mind. Others simply exist on the fringes of it, otherwise playing fairly traditional black metal. More still amplify the folk element to it and ultimately become actual folk metal. As such, exactly what makes pagan black metal is something that, much like with the semi-related viking metal genre, is often misunderstood and categorised as a pseudo genre. This is not actually true. One band who excels at making pagan black metal as a distinct genre in its own right is Finland's Havukruunu, whose second full-length album Kelle Surut Soi (2017), puts them right up there with their countrymen Wyrd in that regard.

For most genres, describing something as textbook is like another way of saying it's completely generic, but that's not an argument that can really be applied the same way to pagan black metal, for the above reason. So when I say that Havukruunu play textbook pagan black metal on Kelle Surut Soi, I don't say it to be demeaning, but in admiration that these guys manage to capture this elusive genre so whole-heartedly. Folksy and with plenty of acoustic guitars to be heard right from the opening notes of Jo Näkyvi Pohjan Portit, yet with never a shortage of black metal riff work, some of it fast and some of it slower, with vocals that move between traditional growling and heathen chanting, results in songs that display a triumphant, epic character. The music feels tailored to celebrate the band's native Finland and its pagan ancestry.

Not being a Finnish speaker, following the lyrics of Kelle Surut Soi is a no go for me, but as with full-on folk metal I only find that to add to the authenticity of the compositions and the atmosphere the music creates. It's certainly not an issue against enjoying the release immensely, as Havukruunu's sound is quick to ensnare the eardrums. Not only is the black metal aspect satisfying and convincingly delivered, but everything else applied to it is tastefully done, especially the acoustic guitars. It results in an album that, even though it passes the fifty minute mark, is very easy to get so engrossed by that you don't notice the time passing at all. I would say that hands down, as few and far between as they are, that Kelle Surut Soi is the best pagan black metal release I've yet come across. This album represents a real lesson in how it should be done!
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
Nightfly wrote:
27 days ago
Ah right, cheers Adam.
adg211288 wrote:
28 days ago
https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/10233763?ev=rb
adg211288 wrote:
28 days ago
No, there are hard copies, they just sold out already. Try Discogs if you're interested in this one. That's where I've got a CD copy coming from.
Nightfly wrote:
28 days ago
Looks like their stuff is only available via download - no hard copies as far as I can see.
adg211288 wrote:
28 days ago
It took me a few listens to really appreciate this one but I've been playing it quite a lot in the last week or so.
Nightfly wrote:
28 days ago
Plan on checking this out later, sounds promising.

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners
Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
Buy this album from our partners
Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Social Control Iniative Grindcore
SKINSTRIPPER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Death of an Age Grindcore
SKINSTRIPPER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Subject Reality Grindcore
SKINSTRIPPER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Filthy Blasphemy Thrash Metal
CHAINSAW
Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingslayer Symphonic Metal
ALMANAC
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Metal MP3 download/stream

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online