It’s not often that you can describe a black metal release as beautiful, but that’s exactly what Längtan, the latest offering from Sweden’s Vanhelga is. Twelve tracks of hauntingly stunning music, it’s a release that will play on your mind for long after the closing chords ring out because it’s a rather striking album.
One of the things that makes Längtan stand out from the crowd is the fact it’s a very non-invasive album; there’s a lot of melody injected into the music and the instrumentation is quite stripped back at times with acoustic guitars taking more of a lead role and it’s refreshing to say the least – it makes the album much more individual and accessible.
There are some really strong tracks on this album and an early highlight is Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig. The band recently released a video for it (that can be viewed below) and it’s clear why this has been chosen as a representative for the album because it’s a haunting number with a standout riff that’s played on various instruments, interweaving it into the song whilst ensuring it’ll worm its way into your head. Another strong inclusion is later song Låt Snön Falla, more of a traditional track with furiously hammered guitars and drums underneath a fantastically chilled acoustic guitar line that’s accompanied by despair-filled harsh vocals which stand out for all the right reasons.
There’s no two ways about it – Vanhelga have produced a masterpiece with Längtan and if you haven’t heard of this band yet, then what are you waiting for?