Rainbows in the Dark:  Wardruna — “Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven”

A perfect offering for Earth Day, Norse legends Wardruna have released a majestic two-part album titled KvitravnFirst Flight of the White Raven.  The first 11 songs are a re-release of Kvitravn which debuted in 2021 and scored numerous international chart entries, while the remaining 13 songs are live recordings consisting of new songs from Kvitravn as well as old favorites from across the band’s discography.  Everything fans enjoy about Wardruna is present here including a use of traditional and historical instruments such as Kravik-lyre, Trossingen-lyre, Taglharpa, Sootharp, Langeleik, Crwth, Goat-horn, Lur, Bronze-lur, flute, and Moraharpa.  This album also features guest vocals by a small group of prominent traditional singers, elevating the compositions’ worldly and historical feel while adding a dynamic beauty.  With lyrical themes and matching atmospheric elements centering on Northern sorcery, spirit-animals, shadows, nature and animism, the wisdom and meanings of certain myths, various Norse spiritual concepts, Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven is a deep and prolific artistic release capturing the splendor of Northern nature and culture.

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CANTO: The Lion’s Daughter, Massacre, Ghost Bath, and More

Well, it’s new release Friday, so let’s see what announcements came our way.

  • Looks like Ivar Bjornson and Einar Selvik are back with a new EP. Hardanger will be out on November 5th through By Norse Music. Additionally, Skuggsja (which I am still very much in love with) is getting a reissue at the same location. This is a good start to my evening.
  • The Lion’s Daughter have announced some cool things for this Bandcamp Friday. They released both a digital Turbo Covers EP as well as a pretty slick matching shirt. Jump on over to their Bandcamp and do that hockey. Side note: Skin Show is still a regular listen on this end.
  • We’ll add Ghost Bath to the mix today because their latest single, “Hide From The Sun”, features CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder. Self Loather is out on October 29th through Nuclear Blast.
  • Tech death collective Atræ Bilis are streaming a new single as well, titled “Bacterium Abloom”. That track is taken from their upcoming 20 Buck Spin album, Apexapien, which will be out on October 8th (and vinyl coming in early December).
  • We like Massacre a lot here at Nine Circles, so we’re going to end the week with their new visualizer for “Ruins of R’lyeh”. Resurgence will be out on October 22nd through Nuclear Blast. Yes, I’ve already heard it. Yes, it’s awesome. Yes, you should pre-order it.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Album Review: Skuggsjá – “A Piece for Mind & Mirror”

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Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá is a musical collaboration that came together as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution. In 2014. But after positive reception at the Eidsivablot festival in Norway and then later at Roadburn 2015, it was decided that the piece needed to be recorded; to be made available for a the masses. And am I ever grateful this… experiment, I suppose, reached this point. Centered around traditions and tales of their Norse background, with A Piece for Mind & Mirror, Skuggsjá have created what is undoubtedly the most mesmerizing collection of sounds so far in 2016. Nestled somewhere in the intersection of folk, black metal, and post metal, it is a true masterpiece that is capable of enticing audiences of all genres. Continue reading