Sig:Ar:Tyr – Northen (Hammerheart Records, 15 April 2016)
Hey there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet! I hope you’re having an okay start to your week. Typically I’d be talking about how Mondays are so terrible or whatever, but truthfully, I realize that things could be much worse. Around the middle of last week, I experienced a little bit of a minor medical emergency — hospital visit, a couple days away from work, that sort of thing. Everything around here got really disrupted and it kind of sucked, and I can honestly say I’m actually glad to be back to the normal daily routine, however awful and soul-crushing it may be.
Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s get to the music! I’ve had to shuffle things around a bit since my schedule got so thrown off over the past several days, but we’ll do what we can to get back on track and get to sharing the albums and other news you people need to hear about. Today let’s take a look at a pair of releases from earlier this month, each by a one-member band (although each had some assistance on these recordings), and each having a Viking connection. It has been a month since the last time we talked about Viking metal — don’t forget that Amon Amarth are still in the middle of their North American tour, with a few weeks left — and it seemed like it might be fun to do it again. One of these albums actually includes a reference to the same source material as the Jomsviking album, and the other deals with ancient Viking settlements in North America …
Good afternoon, readers! I hope your day is going well. In my opinion, this Monday doesn’t seem to be coming to an end nearly quickly enough! All I’ve wanted to do all day is go back home and get back in bed. Oh well, only a couple more hours before I’m able to do that.
In the meantime, I’d like to share some news with you. It’s been a few months since we mentioned Vesperia — the Canadian black/folk/pagan metal band who used to be called Bolero — and as you might have guessed, they’ve been as busy as ever during that time!
Vesperia – Voyage from Vinland (self-released, 08 January 2011)
Ladies and gentlemen and whoever else might be out there reading this:
This coming Saturday — the 20th of October — blackened folk/pagan metal band Vesperia are headlining a show in the band’s hometown of Oshawa, Ontario (city motto = “Prepare to be amazed.” I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.) Also appearing will be Battlesoul, Will of the Ancients, and Unbowed, and for more details on the event you can check out this page.
Anyway, in celebration of this occasion, Vesperia wanted to do something special for their fans. Giving away downloads of their new demo EP from earlier this year (The Swordsman) wouldn’t work though, because they’ve already done that (see here for a full write-up about that release) — so instead they’ve decided to give away their previous album for free!
Voyage from Vinland was actually the first (and only) full-length album released by Bolero (in January of last year), prior to that band changing its name to Vesperia. But the whole thing — all eleven tracks, forty-five minutes of it — has been re-released digitally under their new name on their Bandcamp page, and for this week ONLY you can download all of it absolutely FREE! This is only supposed to last until Saturday’s show, though, so ACT FAST!!
Canadian Celtic/Viking metal band Vesperia are definitely not strangers to change. In fact, as you may recall, it was just a few months ago that they announced they had undergone a metamorphosis and rebirth with a brand-new name (they had formerly been known as Bolero).
Well, the winds of change just keep on blowing, it appears, because the band is now announcing that they are looking to replace a guitarist.
In the words of bassist/lead vocalist Morgan Rider,
It really sucks to have to be typing this and we never thought in a million years we would be doing so… Change has been a defining word for Vesperia in 2012 and so far we have held our heads high and kept our sights in the clouds with all these testing changes and new commitments we have been taking on each week that would have normally seen a band dissolve. Aspiring for the greater purpose with our music and selves has always been our focus.
Our comrade, lead guitarist and brother-in-arms, Tim, has recently felt that in his and the band’s best interest he must hang his hat on guitar duties for Vesperia. There is no tension or bad blood between any of us and him business-wise or personal whatsoever and we will carry on feeling the mutual respect and brotherhood we’ve always had for each other. Continue reading →
Vesperia – The Swordsman Demo (Self-released, 01 May 2012)
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you’ve been paying attention to this blog over the past month, you’ve seen the name Vesperia a few times. That’s because this newly-renamed band has put together a brand-new demo to reintroduce themselves to the world, and each week throughout the month of May, they released a new track for free.
Well, now that they’ve all been made available, the whole four-track package can now be downloaded for free (or any price you choose), for your convenience. There’s also more stuff on the horizon for these guys — including a newly-added tour date and an upcoming live DVD!
So I’ve taken this opportunity to collect all the information I’ve previously shared about the band, combined it with the new stuff, and while I’m at it, I’ll say a few words about the music contained in the demo. Which, again, you can go download for free. Ready? Here we go…
Cultura Tres – El Mal Del Bien (self-released, 29 March 2011)
So yesterday morning, as I was putting together the post about the newly released track by Vesperia, it occurred to me that I’ve done an awful lot of writing about bands from our upstairs neighbors over the past couple months. At the same time, it occurred to me that I’ve probably been unfairly neglecting music that originates from south of the border…
Well, actually, I haven’t entirely neglected bands from south of here — about a month and a half ago, I posted about the Grip of Delusion Radio compilation (which you can still download for free, if you haven’t yet!), and in that post I briefly mentioned a couple of South American bands that had songs included. One of those was Cultura Tres from Maracay, Venezuela.
These guys had first come across my radar just prior to the release of that Book of Riff-Elations compilation, when I read about them playing some shows over in Europe with our British friends Undersmile. So the band name (which literally means “Culture Three” but idiomatically refers to life in the so-called ‘Third World’) jumped out at me when I saw it in the tracklisting. Naturally, I had to give their song “No es mi Verdad” (“It is Not My Truth”) a quick listen, and it was so deliciously sludgey and doomy that I just had to grab both of the band’s full-length releases, 2008’s La Cura (“The Cure”), and last year’s El Mal del Bien (literally, “Bad from Good” or “Wrong from Right”). Both of these are available to download (for free or whatever price you choose), but the newer one was also recently released on vinyl, so I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about that now, Dear Reader.