Vindland — Hanter Savet
For a year as chock-full of amazing black metal releases as 2016, I guess it is somewhat understandable that a few quality releases may have slipped through the cracks. Still, after hearing the full-length debut from France's Vindland, I was more than a little disappointed with myself for not having found this album sooner.
Simply put, Hanter Savet is a phenomenal, fast-paced, extremely engaging black metal record. The shortest description I can give is that Vindland's sound is very reminiscent of Wintersun, in that they meld the basics of the black metal sound with very progressive elements and catchy riffs. The music is intense — and exceptionally heavy — but the songs weave a lot of melody and catchy hooks into the material, making for a very diverse experience.
Tonally, Vindland have very clean, crisp guitars in their songs. The buzzing, cacophonous wall of sound — a staple of the black metal genre — is not really present on this record, and everything is well engineered and mixed. Acoustic guitars and a generous amount of dual-guitar harmonies really push the melodic aspects of the album over-the-top, while the core of the material is heavy but not monotonously so.
Hanter Savet's running time is just over 55 minutes, spread over 8 tracks, and not a moment of it is wasted. There is no filler to be found here, 99% of the time this record is kicking your ass, save for a few moments of melodic interludes and introductions. While not specifically instrumental, the album features long passages without much in the way of vocals, giving the riffs even more of a showcase.
Front-to-back, this album is first-rate. The vocals are, naturally, wretched and rather incomprehensible — as are the song titles, which are written in a language that could be anything from Scandinavian to Orcish for all I can discern — but they work perfectly on this material. Every track is filled with catchy riffs and passages that exude the sort of energy and excitement I associate with less dour, nihilistic genres. Standout tracks are #1 and #5, though the whole album is really worth an uninterrupted listening.
Even a month after discovering this record, it still sounds fresh and exciting to my ears. I consider my experience with the black metal scene to be extensive, and Vindland have impressed me immeasurably — easily producing one of the best full-length albums in the modern iteration of the genre. Everything about Hanter Savet is first-rate: the composition, performance and engineering. Leaning heavily into the melodic side of the genre, this album is a must-have for any serious metal fans.
Release date: April 1st, 2016
Record label: Black Lion Records
Romuald — vocals
Camille — guitar, bass
Marc — drums
- Orin Kozh
- Pedenn Koll
- Skleur Dallus
- Skorneg Du
- Skeud Ar Gwez
- And The Battle Ended
Published: November 3rd, 2017.