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Black metal act Leviathan (SWE) are back with “Förmörkelse”

Back from the dead, Swedish black metal outfit Leviathan return after 18 (!) years of silence with the followup to their 2002 debut “Far Beyond The Light”. The new LP “Förmörkelse” is written by, and all instruments are played by, Roger “Phycon” Markström. He got some help with prominent guest appearances, by members from Dråpsnatt and Vintersorg. We caught up with Roger to get a comment about the new album…

Leviathan about “Förmörkelse”…

Hello Roger, please tell us about the new album, “Förmörkelse”.

The new album has taken quite some time to be completely finalized and that is really kind of bizarre and weird, but also fascinating… I have for a long time had an urge to continue the ‘Leviathan journey’ and from time to time I was contacted by labels giving lousy offers. I have also ‘from natural causes’ learnt that it is important to be able to trust each other, in the relation between the artist and the label. After finally finding a label to work with, I got up to speed with the writing which was performed by me and me only in utter lonelieness, except for my Gibson guitar. I took my ideas and created promos and then the real recording of the album took place in three different studios in Skellefteå, Sweden.

This all may sound like a walk in the park, but behind this is misery – the album is truly about personal experiences, from the last 18 years, in the form of violence, drugs, alcohol, knives, bloodshed, disgusting perversion and perfect purity – these dark and sometimes tragic happenings constitutes the fundament for “Förmörkelse”, and without them the album wouldn’t exist…

Nebular Carcoma press release

“One of the most cult names before the term “cult” began being bandied about with reckless abandon, Leviathan appeared out of nowhere in 2002 with one album, Far Beyond the Light, and then disappeared forever. Granted, the man behind this Leviathan was no newcomer: one Phycon, who concurrently drummed in Armagedda before their demise and the precursor Volkermord. As such, the breadth of ambition across Förmörkelse was startling if not completely unexpected. So pure, so cold, and yet so brimming with lifeless life – an intentional paradox, perhaps – here did Phycon ably bridge the ’90s wave of black metal which so informed his youth with the yet-to-burst wave beginning at the dawn of the new millennium. It was an invigorating experience for all who heard it, and has since become a collector’s item, released as it was by Shining‘s since-closed Selbstmord Services label.

But, just like how Far Beyond the Light appeared literally out of nowhere, so, too, does Leviathan’s comeback with Förmörkelse. Almost picking up right where the debut album left off, after a tense intro does Leviathan-the-man waste no time in establishing a splendorously grim atmosphere, roiling with the rippling physicality which so endeared that debut whilst maintaining a perversely invigorating melancholy. Each of the subsequent nine tracks build both with patience and urgency, each deliriously dark texture taking its time to wrap its black leathery wings around the listener. An ages-old sort of melodicism is intertwined throughout, often draped in haunting / shimmering shades of chorus pedal, which works as ghostly counterpoint to the gnashing pulse so central to the Leviathan aesthetic. And central to that is Phycon’s exquisitely deft and daresay-swinging drum-work, which even shines during the album’s moments of restraint and repose, allowing space and shade to work their magick as Förmörkelse moves on. And, by record’s end, the listener is left with catharsis and climax – so pure, so cold, and yet so vibrant.

Indeed, Leviathan’s brilliance radiates outward through the ages, across decades, and remains just as vital and timeless as when the band began. If it takes nearly another 20 years for the follow-up to Förmörkelse, so be it: we are only richer for experiencing Phycon’s vision when he so chooses to reveal it.”

Taster from the album

Leviathan – “Förmörkelse” track listing

  1. XVII
  2. Avgrundens Återsken
  3. Förmörkelse
  4. Svart
  5. Förbannelsen
  6. Verklighetens Väv
  7. En Tidlös Illvilja
  8. Melankolins Ävja
  9. Babylons Sand
  10. Pestens Sigill
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Latest My Dying Bride album, and Tribulation MLP added

Added a couple of relatively recent doom/death metal releases.

Please, do also check out our highly related Spotify playlist with metal of the more doomy and darker kind…

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Hungarian black metal act Tymah added to The Wild Hunt

Added the Hungarian black metal act Tymah’s “Zuhanás” to the store. “Zuhanás” was released on the Finnish underground label The Sinister Flame. I especially like the vocals, which are kind of unique with a rash, harsh and very dark style…

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Black vs coloured and splattered vinyl – which sounds best? Let’s find out, in the almighty Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods test…

It is sometimes said that black vinyl sounds better than coloured, splattered and especially glow in the dark vinyls. But is that really so and is it possible to hear the difference? Let’s find out! (As someone used to say, before freedom of speech was interfered with).

So, the test objects for our black metal vinyl hearing experiment are: (1) to the left, the competitor and expected winner, at least if we are to believe the experts: the classical, traditional black vinyl. (2) to the right, we have our challenger: the unorthodox splattered vinyl which is claimed to be a bad choice, from sound quality perspective…

This album is the first since the split between Demonaz and Abbath. Abbath took off and has his band is very logically named just Abbath, while Demonaz and Horgh continued with Immortal. Horgh is by the way also drummer in death metal stars Hypocrisy, which pretty much is Peter Tägtgren’s band. “Northern Chaos Gods” is partly recorded in Grangärde, Dalarna with Peter Tägtgren as producer. He bought the mental hospital ‘Pärlby’, in Grangärde, and turned it into his living place, studio etc.

Picture taken by The Wild Hunt, in the dense forests, a few kilometers away from Pärlby

Equipment used in this experiment: Argon vinyl player, a 20 year old Sony amplifier, a good Ortofon pickup (don’t remember which model though), Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones.

The competitors lined up:

1. The favourite, the first pressing black vinyl
2. The challenger, the ‘pretty’ but superficial splatter vinyl

Summary: after listening carefully to these vinyls during an entire evening, my conclusion is that the challenger, the ‘pretty’ splatter vinyl, sounds better. It is clearer in sound, while the black vinyl is not sounding so well. It is inferior in fact. The sounds are ‘muffled’ so to say.

The thing here is that I was sceptical towards the black pressing from the beginning, because of my feeling it had an inferior sound. I still think this is the case here. The positive thing is that if you are an old school hard core lo-fi black metal fan, this is of course the option for you

So, the sound is better in the later pressing but this has most probably got nothing to do with the actual colour of the vinyl. The root cause for the difference is probably another. Conclusion is that the actual colour is not the most important factor for good sound quality – mastering, mixing, pressing plant etc are probably more important factors. Although, colour probably has impact.

The official “Mighty Ravendark” video from the label, Nuclear Blast.

Frozen up north
Far from the sun
Where the heart of winter is one
Cold winds they blow
All frost and snow
Shadows creep in forests old
Unending realm awaiting fires end
All light from worlds disappear
I lurk the paths where grimly woods near
Frozen gates call me from there

Under these mountainsides rises no sun
Whereas the icy cold mountains are one
Beyond the wintery woods winds they call
Here under the might of its greatness I roar

Mighty Ravendark
Mighty Ravendark

Forests climb to mountains
Cold winds they blow
Thunder and twilight and snow
Frost, wind and fog, snow deep and cold
In the realm that is hidden from all
Mindless voices speak through the heart of the gods
From the wintery woods winds they call
Caught in the shadows of thy raven realm
The kingdom that blackened my soul

Under these mountainsides rises no sun
Whereas the icy cold mountains are one
Beyond the wintery woods winds they call
Here under the might of its greatness I roar

Mighty Ravendark
Mighty Ravendark
Mighty Ravendark

Throne of the north
Mountains of might
Blashyrkh by name
Blashyrkh by fire
Towers of ice
Shadows of gods
Tales of the one
Frozen kingdom

Kingdom of north
Throne of them all
Tales of the one
Mountaineous sons
Blashyrkh by fire
Blashyrkh by name
The throne of north
Mighty be thy law
Mighty Ravendark

Frozen up north
Far from the sun
Where the heart of winter is one
Cold winds they blow
All frost and snow
Shadows creep in forests old
Unending realm awaiting fires end
All light from worlds disappear
I lurk the paths where grimly woods near
Frozen gates call me from there

Under these mountainsides rises no sun
Whereas the icy cold mountains are one
Beyond the wintery woods winds they call
Here under the might of its greatness I roar

Mighty Ravendark
Mighty Ravendark