|Review: Norrhem - Koitos|
Label: Spread Evil Productions
Year released: 2020
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: March 24, 2020
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
There seems to be a resurgence of Melodic Black Metal that's been going on during the last few years, as I just keep finding more new bands in the style. Finnish 4-piece Norrhem are yet another one of these bands, already having a demo, an EP, and two full-length works including this album since their inception in 2017. I can't speak for the rest of their output, but I can say that Koitos is a damn fine release.
Musically, these Finnish pagans play a style of addictive, folky Black Metal that borrows from bands like Finntroll, Moonsorrow, and even Amorphis' folkier era without sounding like they're plagiarizing them. The vocals are all in Finnish, ranging from harsh to clean, and while there's an extensive use of keyboards on here, most prominently on "Taistelo (Aleksis Kivi 1866)", the band doesn't lean too hard on them. What really makes this band stand out is the level of detail contained in every song, making repeat listens enjoyable while their melodic sensibility gives the entire album an effortless flow devoid of any filler material. This is most evident on the closing album highlight, "Vapaa Sielu Pohjoisen", which is a majestic epic that perfectly sums up everything this band is all about.
There's always a risk of new bands beginning to ride a trend down into the ground, but thankfully Norrhem so far stands as an example of why it would start to begin with. Fans of more folky and keyboard-driven Black Metal will want to get this and may want to keep an eye out for this band. They may be going places after this one.
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