Review: Besvärjelsen – Frost

Besvärjelsen’s Frost is heavy metal in that it could also be called hard rock and no one would object too strongly. A mix of down–tempo classic rock and fuzzy doom, it permeates a dark, psychedelic vibe. To expand upon this description, the spirit of this EP is better thought of as supernatural – maybe even ‘spooky’ – rather than haunted or horrifying. Although the lyrics do seem to pick up on some darker facets of humanity here and there, it’s generally tempered with occult imagery and a strolling pace, furthered by otherworldly sounds like the theremin on ‘When We Fall’ and by the synth on track ‘Human Habits’.

Despite the fast, powerful start of opening track ‘When We Fall’ and the powerful drumming of Erik Bäckwall throughout, Besvärjelsen generally forego aggression in favour of a more subdued tone. Lead vocalist Lea Amling Alazam has more of a croon then anything that resembles a scream, and this in itself proves to be a microcosm of Besvärjelsen’s make up, with Fleetwood Mac sounding to have been a bigger influence than Metallica. Other comparisons that came to mind were to Ghost and revivalists Hällas, as well as Royal Thunder, although Besvärjelsen tend to stick closer to tried and tested ground than any of these three.

Frost is at its best when it builds up and a bit more aggression is displayed. The climax of ‘Human Habits’ is a case in point, when more aggressive, gritty shouting balances out the more evocative quality of Alazam’s singing, suggesting, overall, that it could do with a bit more grit. Frost doesn’t break any ground, but if you like this kind of sound, this is a decent and easy–going listen.

Frost is out 9th August via Blues Funeral Recordings and can be purchased here.

Words: Gregory Brooks

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