Havukruunu – Uinuos Syömein Sota

Band: Havukruunu
Title: Uinuos Syömein Sota
Label: Naturmacht Productions
Release Date: 14 August 2020
Country: Finland
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

After three years, Havukruunu have emerged from the dark and enigmatic forests of Finland to deliver their much anticipated third album “Uinuos Syömein Sota” (Languish, Thou War of my Heart). To say that I’ve been eagerly awaiting this release would be a colossal understatement, as their 2017 offering “Kelle Surut Soi” shattered my world, and I haven’t quite been the same since. For me, Havukruunu has become a stand-out act amongst their contemporaries, having a unique and compelling sound that is built on a foundation of stark black metal, steeped in rich pagan sentiment.

In spite of my wild excitement and impossibly high expectations for this release, “Uinuos Syömein Sota” managed to utterly astound me, and sees the band building on what they do best. The production on this album is noticeably richer than previous releases but this doesn’t detract from the raw or primeval Havukruunu experience.

Track one, “Uinuos Syömein Sota”, provides a strong opening for the album, beginning with melodious yet foreboding male vocals in a call-and-reply style of ritualistic chanting. However, this choir of voices is abruptly torn asunder by blistering drums, vocal growling that could reanimate the ancients and elegant riffing that made my knees weak.

One of the things that I appreciate most about Havukruunu is the finesse achieved in balancing complex and often conflicting moods. This is clearly on display in “Ja Viimein On Yö”, which is a stand-out track and a great example of Havukruunu’s wizardry. The track is wholly captivating, being both furious and stirring, exciting and almost chaotic, but all the while the band’s precision and connectivity is undeniable. “Pohjolan Tytär” is another solid track, and like many on the album is riff-centric and contains a profusion of zesty guitar breakdowns. I also admire Havukruunu’s ability to incorporate novel elements into their sound, such as cellos, war drums, tambourine, and chanting choirs without ever sounding cheap or losing their edge.

For the cover art, the band once again enlisted the talents of Heidi K, the illustrator who had also provided the rousing imagery for the previous albums. Her work is gripping and perfectly suits the mood of the album.

For me, “Uinuos Syömein Sota” could be one of the most exciting releases of 2020, being nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s intense, majestic and contemplative, yet will pierce you deeply and leave it’s mark.

“Dedicated to the winds that doth blow in the north of every mans heart” – Havukruunu 10/10 Proua Metallist

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10/10 : Immortal Classic
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