Månegarm first released their sixth album Nattväsen back in 2009, and seven years later, it still sounds as fresh and engaging as it did back when I heard it for the first time. Remastered and packaged with an unreleased bonus track for good measure, if you weren’t familiar with the band during this album’s first release, then you won’t want to let this rerelease pass you by.
There’s something so immersive about Nattväsen; it draws you in as soon as you hit play, thanks to the introduction for the opening track Mina Fäders Hall. Consisting of group vocals moving in sync with one another, it’s fairly simplistic yet oh-so effective as the melody works its way into your head – and as the track progresses, the same melody crops up in the guitar line and helps give the track a more ‘familiar’ feeling. Månegarm progress well from there, hitting the listener with one earworm after another, and each track delivers in its own way. There’s enough variety for the album to consist of nine distinct tracks (well, ten if you include the newly added bonus song!) yet they all sound like they’re part of a bigger picture, which is testament to great songwriting.
Fourth track I den Svartaste Jord is a particularly great number – it starts out as a slower track, and returns to that pace on a few occasions throughout the song, but the band interject with faster, more energetic lines and it works really well, with an especially good element of the song being the spine-tinglingly good violin line. Meanwhile, bonus track Bergatagen is a welcome addition to an already-great album, utilising all the different approaches and elements of the album in its eight and a half minute duration, and sounds like it has always been a part of the album!
Nattväsen is a stunning album and if Månegarm is a band that has somehow slipped under your radar, perhaps this album will be a good start to getting you familiar with them.