Vattnet Viskar: Sky Swallower

Beautiful sounds from stirring American black metallers

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American black metal has taken some interesting twists and turns in its time as a recognised subgenre. From Nachtmystium to Agalloch, Woe to Deafheaven, USBM has garnered criticism and praise in equal measure and there’s always been a sense that the American bands have nothing new to offer in terms of style and sound.

It’s a ridiculous statement as all the aforementioned acts have pushed the genre in new directions and Vattnet Viskar are doing their level best to drive it even further. Last year’s self-titled EP was an agonising work that pulled doomed shades of anguish through more orthodox black metal tones, and debut full-length Sky Swallower ups the stakes while maintaining a bruised aura of complete torment.

New Alchemy thunders into life with hopeless abandon and Breath Of The Almighty dials into gorgeous fragments of instrumental beauty before Nicholas Thornbur’s strong roars kicks the track into a new plane of heavy despair. This is the future of USBM and it should be embraced.