Besvärjelsen Premiere “Under en Svart Himmel” Video; Vallmo out March 27


It makes a lot of sense that so much of the new Besvärjelsen video happens in split screen, since the band seems to spend so much time inhabiting multiple worlds. The Stockholm five-piece will issue their debut album, Vallmo, on March 27 via Suicide Records in conjunction with DalaPop (again, multiple worlds), and its sound is a deeply varied wash of progressive heavy post-rock atmospherics, moody soul-searching melodicism and weighted groove. Lyrics switch back and forth between Swedish and English depending on the song — prior single “Return of No Return” (video premiere here) was in English, the latest sampling premiering below, “Under en Svart Himmel,” is in Swedish — and with vocal duties shared among multiple members between frontwoman Lea Amling Alazam and guitarists Andreas Baier and Staffan Winroth, there’s an obvious commitment to a varied approach that comes through on Vallmo‘s eight tracks/51 minutes and, in kind with the depth of the mix and the richness of tones and melodies, makes the album an all-the-more-satisfying listening experience.

Of course, being driven by the rhythm section of bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Erik Bäckwall doesn’t hurt either. Both players have roots in Dozer, but Rockner played in Greenleaf as well, and one can find a touch of influence from that band’s more dramatic latter-day output on Vallmo in songs like “Öken,” which blends heavy rock Besvarjelsen Vallmogroove with a spacious sensibility thanks to a healthy dose of reverb on Alazam‘s vocals and the weight in the guitars and drive of the rhythm overall, and the penultimate “Falsarium,” which builds toward a linear peak topped by righteous soloing and push from the bass and drums. Ultimately though, Besvärjelsen are on their own wavelength, as the doom-meets-prog rollout of “Röda Rummet” and the organ-laced graces in the second half of ‘I Skuggen Av Ditt Morker” so readily demonstrate. Conceptually and in practice, the album is an undertaking, and it requires active participation on the part of its audience, but the reward for fuller engagement is a memorable release that, especially as a debut, is striking in its cohesion and sense of purpose. Besvärjelsen are a relatively new band, started in 2014, but there’s never a wavering moment throughout Vallmo where they seem to be in anything less than complete control of where their songs are heading and what they’re seeking to express.

And again, since the record is so varied between pieces like the swaying opener “Mara” residing in a kind of minor-key proggy riffism somewhat reminiscent in its breadth of sound to the later work of Parisians Abrahma and the patient sprawl that ensues across 10-minute finale “Alone,” the midsection of which veers into a stretch of psychedelic minimalism one hopes the band takes as a model to employ again in future composition, the accomplishment on Besvärjelsen‘s part in keeping it all together as fluidly and decisively as they do, and with such a clear conveying of intent, is not a feat to be understated. If nothing else, they’ve set a high standard from which to progress as they move forward, but thinking in the shorter term — i.e. of Vallmo itself, rather than the potential it signifies — there’s little doubt that the Swedes have culled together what will serve as one of the finer debut long-players of 2018. As “Alone” jumps from that quiet midsection back through its chorus en route to the album’s final crescendo and payoff, the emotional and aural resonance of what Besvärjelsen do could hardly be clearer, and it’s something that both demands and well earns the attention it’s due.

Below you’ll find the video for the melancholy and soulful “Under en Svart Himmel” (“under a black cloud,” in English), followed by a quote from the band about its making and more info on Besvärjelsen‘s Vallmo, courtesy of the PR wire:

Besvärjelsen, “Under en Svart Himmel” video premiere

Besvärjelsen on “Under en Svart Himmel”:

It was the last song that was written for Vallmo. We had discussed that we needed one more song for the album and luckily Andreas had been sitting on this one for a while. He had almost the whole song ready, both guitars and vocals. So the rest of the band just added some spices. Like Leas vocals, the small guitar flourishes on the second verse and the drum beat on the second part of the verses which came to be after listening to The Doors on the car stereo.

The vibe of the song was inspired by the song ”Vintersaga” (“A winters tale”) performed by the Swedish singer Monica Törnell. The lyrics can be interpreted in many ways but the main theme was the metamorphosis that takes place after a forest fire. In particularly the great forest fire that swept over middle of Sweden in 2014 came to mind.

The video was shot the morning of February 17th in Andreas’ home village of Nås, and edited in the afternoon by Erik Bäckwall.

BESVÄRJELSEN – Swedish for “conjuring” – was forged in 2014. The band released their debut EP Villfarelser in 2015 which was followed by 2016’s Exil EP. Much of 2017 found BESVÄRJELSEN composing the the audio alchemy found on their ?rst full-length studio offering Vallmo (Swedish for “poppy”). Vallmo more than ever showcases the band’s enormous potential, the eight-track offering seamlessly wandering from crushing doom riffs to catchy vocals and melodies, deep lyrical content, and storming drum work, all topped by stunning guitar solos and, for the first time since the band’s formation, songs in English as well as their native Swedish.

BESVÄRJELSEN’s Vallmo was captured at Studio Glashuset and Midlake Studios by guitarist/vocalist Andreas Baier and comes sheathed in the cover art of Blodpest with design by drummer Erik Bäckwall.

Vallmo will see release on vinyl and digital formats via by Suicide Records in cooperation with DalaPop on March 27th.

Lea Amling Alazam – vocals
Andreas Baier – guitar, vocals
Staffan Winroth – guitar, vocals
Erik Bäckwall – drums
Johan Rockner – bass

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