Kvaen was one of the biggest surprises this year for me. A one-man project that fell from the sky playing the classic melodic black/death thing I haven’t seen in a long time with such a great new album.
The Funeral Pyre is like a great beer that from the first sip, Revenge by Fire, all the flavors rush into each taster’s senses. Jakob Björnfot, the founder of Kvaen, once played for The Duskfall, so it’s not surprising that his guitar sound has many colors of Swedish Melodic Death. Riff is fast, concise, violent, but also soft and attractive. The melodies never stop. A perfect starting track that reminds me of the classics of Dissection or Amon Amarth.
The following tracks continue to draw listeners into the violent waves of the melody. Tremolo guitar speed, liberal. The chorus is heroic, captivating and refreshing. Kvaen created a majestic, vast space of darkness with majestic monsters, legendary battles. A world of destruction, death and glory.
Jakob isn’t trying to make anything too special. He simply recreates the very essence of Nordic melodic black death. Subtle gentle intro, steady pace, heroic battle atmosphere, beautiful melodies, captivating instrumentals. The whole album went by in the blink of an eye. All perfect, standard.
I can’t help but mention the cover. Very simple, but very delicate and impressive. A must-listen album for anyone who loves melodic death.