The Pitch: Danish pagan folk band Heilung return with another hauntingly meditative journey via Season Of Mist. FFO: Myrkrur, Noktrunal Mortum, Skuggsja
What I Like: Heilung are a project less described by certain adjectives than representing a literal embodiment of them. Words like "haunting," "expansive," and "mesmerizing" only exist because they do; the rare project that still evokes the same sense of curiousity and wonder I experienced in my early adolesence of metal discovery. As such, my first viewings of their live LIFA performances could be better likened to a transcendental religious experience than simple viewing of a music video. Futha finds Heilung only further exploring their creative bounds (or seming lack thereof), more often than not abandoning the trappings of black metal and even traditional "music" in favor of purpose and feeling. The band describes the album as sort of the feminine Yin to Ofnir's more masculine Yang. With lyrics from old Icelandic poetry, "in which the holy women chant magic spells and offer their blessings," female voices find themselves largely front and center over the duration of Futha. There is much more to be said about everything from the eccentric approach and instrumentation to the ancient roots of the overall concept, but suffice it to say that it is worth exploring these elements firsthand rather than having this layman clumsily pick them apart.
Critiques: If I'm being perfectly honest, I prefer LIFA. While I still have the utmost respect for Heilung's unbridled songwriting and Season Of Mist's willingness to avoid stifling their creativity, I miss the overt aggressive elements and tinges of black metal. This is more of a meditative album that I don't see myself necessarily spinning over and over again.
The Verdict: If you are bored of hearing more of the same and wish for something outside of the box, you shouldn't be disappointed by Futha. It's definitely not the most metal album you'll enjoy this year, but it will be one that you actually remember.
Flight's Fav's: Norupo, Othan
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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