NPR logo Viking's Choice: Vattnet Viskar Blast Beats Into Oblivion In 'Mythos'

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Viking's Choice: Vattnet Viskar Blast Beats Into Oblivion In 'Mythos'

Vattnet Viskar. Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist

Vattnet Viskar.

Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist

Vattnet Viskar's self-titled 2012 EP blazed through atmospheric, doom-ridden black metal with authority; it had promise for a style that's been mined endlessly in recent years. But after a decade of lesser disciples of the Neurosis and Isis clans applying melodically driven bass lines and sudden crescendos to whatever heaviness befit them, it was fair to feel a touch of trepidation going into Sky Swallower, the debut album from the New Hampshire band. But a track like "Mythos" demonstrates that there's nuance at play here, even as the world falls around it.

Vattnet Viskar. Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist

Vattnet Viskar.

Kenzy Dion/Courtesy of the artist

Listen: Vattnet Viskar, 'Mythos'

Mythos

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/209803391/209803049" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • from Sky Swallower
  • by Vattnet Viskar

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Song
Sky Swallower
Album
Sky Swallower
Artist
Vattnet Viskar
Label
Century Media
Released
2013

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"Mythos" blast beats its way into oblivion in no time, but take note of the tremolo-picked melody buried in the background. It never goes away, but at two minutes in, you'll realize it's been there all along. There's a masterful transition here, as if someone snapped and suddenly Peter Murphy took up a bearish growl to front a metallic Bauhaus (as if Bauhaus could be any darker, but that's besides the point). Even when "Mythos" ends with a hypnotic, thudding jam that nods to NeurIsis, there's tribute, but the original melody remains, tying together a song that's both powerful and structurally unpredictable.

Sky Swallower comes out Sept. 3 on Century Media.

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