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

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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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.

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

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Besvärjelsen Premiere “Return to No Return” Video; Vallmo out in February

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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Swedish five-piece Besvärjelsen make their full-length debut in Feb. 2018 with Vallmo on Suicide Records, and it’s an album that weaves its brooding self between heavy rock and doom as fluidly as its lyrics do between English and Swedish. The full-length follows two shorter releases in 2016’s Exil and 2015’s Villfarelser, and while both to some degree offered a look at the band’s stylistic swath — to wit, Exil had two tracks, one more upbeat and one moodier — the blend has become richer and as the first audio to be made public from the record, the new video for “Return to No Return” showcases the fullness of approach that has resulted.

Noteworthy immediately for the rhythm section of former Dozer/Greenleaf membersbesvarjelsen valmo Johan Rockner (bass) and Erik Bäckwall (drums), Besvärjelsen makes their impression no less with melody than with groove on “Return to No Return” and other album cuts like “Mara” and the folkish “Under en Svart Himmel,” vocalist Lea Amling establishing a strong presence backed by guitarists Staffan Winroth and Andreas Baier for a choral effect that, regardless of language, seems to beg for singing along when it comes to the also-plentiful hooks throughout the record. Soul abounds, and with just an undercurrent of danger in its execution, “Return to No Return” captures an important aspect of what ties together the disparate styles Besvärjelsen touch on throughout the LP. The atmosphere here is not to be overlooked.

When it comes to the video itself, I suppose it would be hard ultimately to overlook the atmosphere, since that’s so much of what’s going on. We see Amling in a murky forest, delivering lines to the camera. The rest of the band? Not so much. There are some flashing lights near the finish, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, heads up, but otherwise, it’s worth letting the track sink in and make its statement, which it does clearly and in righteous form.

I’ll hope to have more to come on Vallmo before the release, but for now, please enjoy:

Besvärjelsen, “Return to No Return” official video premiere

In 2014, from the ashes of bands like Afgrund, Dozer, Lastkaj and Greenleaf, Besvärjelsen was formed. By mixing influences from progressive metal, doom, punk, folk and rock n roll the band has created a sound unlike no other band at the moment. The band released their first EP ”Villfarelser” in 2015. The follow up EP ”Exil” was released in 2016. Both EPs were well recieved in Swedish media and the band got many songs played on Swedish national radio.

The band spent 2017 writing songs and recording what was to become their first full length album. The result, ”Vallmo”, is an album that shows many different sides of the band. From heavy doom riffs to catchy lyrics and melodies and, of course, beautiful guitar solos. The songs have previously only been in Swedish, but with ”Vallmo” Besvärjelsen is debuting songs in english as well.

Besvärjelsen is
Andreas Baier – guitar and vocals
Staffan Winroth – guitar and vocals
Lea Amling – vocals
Erik Bäckwall – drums
Johan Rockner – bass

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audiObelisk Transmission 058

Posted in Podcasts on July 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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In my defense, I’ll say it’s been a really hectic couple months. Truth be told, even I think it’s been a really long time since the last podcast, so if you do too, at very least we agree on it. If the tradeoff for that is getting to use a bunch of new tracks, some of which have been featured around here for streaming — like Foghound, Monkey3, Slomatics, Comet Control, Mindkult, New Planet Trampoline, etc. — and some of which haven’t shown up around this site yet — Besvärjelsen, Monolord, King Buffalo, Fungal Abyss, Landing, etc. — then I think it’s a decent tradeoff to make. Listening back to it now that it’s finished, as is my tradition, I dig it.

And of course I hope you dig it as well. We start at full run with Foghound and add some boogie to the mix with Långfinger before crashing into the wall of riffs that is Monolord and digging into the garage swing of Mindkult, so right off the bat there’s a decent amount of ground covered, and it only gets weirder as it moves forward, but hopefully even more immersive as well. The second hour, and really from New Planet Trampoline on, keep an open mind and try to just go where the sounds go. It should be a satisfying trip either way.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Foghound, “Message in the Sky” from The World Unseen
0:03:58 Långfinger, “Feather Beader” from Crossyears
0:08:20 Monolord, “Lord of Suffering” from Lord of Suffering/Die in a Haze
0:14:44 Mindkult, “Witch’s Oath” from Witch’s Oath
0:20:34 Besvärjelsen, “Havets Sista Vals” from Exil
0:27:48 King Buffalo, “Kerosene” from Orion
0:33:46 Slomatics, “Super Nothing” from Future Echo Returns
0:37:36 Monkey3, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” from Astra Symmetry
0:42:06 New Planet Trampoline, “Acts of Mania” from Dark Rides and Grim Visions
0:51:03 Comet Control, “Artificial Light” from Center of the Maze

Second Hour:

1:00:52 Landing, “Morning Sun” from Third Light
1:15:10 Fungal Abyss, “Perfumed Garden” from Karma Suture
1:37:20 Atomikylä, “Katkos” from Keräily

Total running time: 1:55:09

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 058

 

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