Photo courtesy of Nordvis
Sweden’s Murg plays up its alignment with the old school, saying the band harkens back to the golden era when the Scandinavian masters were reaching for new heights in intensity while refining a raw sound into a mature art form. Though the finished product may sound a bit more polished today, Murg nails the vibe, and Varg & Björn carries the frostbitten and nocturnal patina that distinguished black metal from everything else back then and feels like stepping back into a time warp today. Varg & Björn, Murg’s debut album, dives into icy rippers straight out the gate before moving onto the stomping militant swagger of mid-tempo songs like “Massvandring & blodbad” and “Den starkes rätt.” These tracks are catchy and invigorating, with big sweeping riffs that would be at home on a European festival stage.
As a duo with no prior history, Murg’s first is a remarkably mature and complete album. Varg & Björn is actually a concept album; with a title translating to “Wolf and Bear,” it centers on the power of nature and the downfall of humanity at its hands. With several anthem-ready songs lined up, Varg & Björn is a very promising first stepping stone and a triumph for Murg.
Varg and Björn is out March 30th via Nordvis, and is currently available to preorder.
Wyatt Marshall is on Twitter – @blackbeardislnd