Review Summary: Nasheim emerges after almost seven years with a stunning piece of atmospheric black metal.
The last time we heard anything from Nasheim was way back in 2007 on a split with another black metal band called Angantyr. Nasheim’s contribution to the split, the twenty-five minute Sovande Mjod Vill Jag Tomma, attracted a lot attention from black metal fans. The man behind Nasheim, Erik Grahn, finally completed and released his proper debut Solens vemod at the beginning of 2014. Seven years is a long time to wait for new material but E. Grahn has been meticulous in creating a depressing atmosphere for Solens vemod and it shows immediately from the start of the first track, En nyckel till drommars grind.
From the moment this track starts you know what mood you’re capturing from the album. Dark, brooding guitar passages, airy distortion, sorrowful screams; it all comes together to create a very melancholic atmosphere. The vocal performance is definitely a highlight on this album. Grahn has a very passionate type of black metal vocals that compliment the music behind it perfectly, especially on the third track Att av odets tradar vava sorg. It almost sounds like he is mourning some kind of personal loss on these tracks. It’s powerful.
Another highlight is the albums surprisingly good production. Aside from Grahn’s atmospheric guitar work, the bass is mixed wonderfully into every song. I was a little turned off by the programmed drums at first but they really work with each track and don’t take anything away from them. Although the production is good, the albums faults lie within the production as well. As I said before, the album is supposed to give off a melancholic atmosphere but everything is way too quiet. If you want to get the most out of listening to this one then you’re going to need to turn the volume up loud.
There’s also a lot of variety on this release, even though there’s only four tracks. For the first track, En nyckel till drommars grind, you’re carried along a depressing and slow thirteen minute journey. However when the second track, Jag fyller min bagare med tomhet starts, you’re immediately thrust into chaotic programmed blast beats and guitar behind painful screams of sorrow. The third and fourth tracks on the album also feature some beautiful acoustic work that really stands out. Each song on the album is quite long but there’s so much going on in these songs to draw you in that they never feel boring.
Solens vemod gained a huge amount of respect for me this year because it really feels like a true, authentic depressive black metal release. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and being able to really hear how each of these songs was given amazing attention to detail is rewarding. It seems like new black metal has been coming out left and right the past two years and it’s hard to figure out what you should give your time to. But if you enjoy black metal then I recommend that you immediately move Nasheim to the top of your list if you haven’t heard this one. Solens Vemod is definitely a strong contender for black metal album of the year.
Recommend track: Atta v odets tradar vava sorg