Record Reviews

Album review: Häxkapell “Eldhymner”

Excellent Swedish black metal on the debut album by Häxkapell.

Oraklet founded Häxkapell in 2015 and recorded the band’s first demo songs in 2016. Now Häxkapell’s debut album “Eldhymner” has arrived. Häxkapell performs black metal sung in Swedish. Oraklet handles vocals, guitars and keyboards and has brought in session musicians on drums and violin. Many of the songs feature fantastic choirs adding a medieval touch to the bleak, cold and murky soundscape. It is perhaps a bit paradoxical that such an icy and frozen album is dedicated to the element of fire. The music is epic, atmospheric and sinister. Indeed, ill winds are blowing in these deep valleys of hopelessness. There’s plenty of guitar riffing and drumming mayhem in this music, but also another kind of disturbingly evil music dressed up in a cloak of innocence, such as the haunting sound of a sole violin in the outro on the terrific track “Eldskapt”. It is also evident in slower, less chaotic songs such as the wonderful “Askans drottning”. The song “Häxkapellet” is an eight-and-a-half-minute epic journey that brings all of the band’s awesomeness into one exquisite song. As is often the case in black metal from northern Europe, there are obvious influences from both classical music and folk music on the album. Häxkapell, following a proud Nordic tradition, plays black metal at a world-class level. Band leader Oraklet has musical talent and songwriting skills that are far above what most other bands in the genre have. This is hopefully the beginning of a fantastic journey.

Häxkapell’s “Eldhymner” is out now on CD and digitally via Nordvis. An LP version will be released on 14th January 2022.