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Kvaen: Swedish Melodic Death / Black Metallers Reveal “The Ancient Gods” Video / Single

Kvaen cover

The Ancient Gods” is the latest single from Swedish melodic black/death metallers KVAEN. The spellbinding new hymn comes off the band’s impending new full-length, The Formless Fires, set for release on June 21st on Metal Blade Records.

KVAEN is led by creative mastermind Jacob Björnfot. A sumptuous but bitingly intense exploration of beauty and violence, KVAEN‘s The Formless Fires is a true masterwork radiating an inspirational sense of place. “Björnfot skillfully balances out anger and darkness with those deathly melancholic melodic loops that characterize the genre mix…,” writes Sweden Rock in an early review of the record. “KVAEN’s best record so far.”

Even more than 2020’s folky, speed metal-infused debut The Funeral Pyre or 2022’s compelling, expansive follow-up, The Great Below, the vast pine woods and icy lakes of Björnfot hometown of Kalixare powerfully evoked in the elemental gloom riffs, chilly melodies, and windswept solos running through these eight mighty songs. “Our surroundings — bizarre weather conditions, northern lights etc. — help shape the way we see and hear things. It affects us more than we think,” Björnfot ponders, contemplating the effect of his environment on KVAEN‘s exquisitely tuneful but richly atmospheric black metal. “I think it’s way better to be raised here than in Stockholm for example. I never liked big cities, except for weekend visits. I don’t like the big city attitude; here we are all calm and down to earth. I am in my thirties and most people have either left or returned. I am not planning on going anywhere soon. I still go to my cabin in the woods of Torne Valley and write a lot of music, especially during the Winter, which can feel very long and sometimes harsh.

Assisting in this record’s immersive sweep are Björnfot’s fascinating lyrics. Like many Swedish songwriters, his use of English reveals a love and care for the language that few native speakers even bother to rival. If this album seems less intimate and more universal than the raw candor of its predecessor, it’s only because Björnfot’s knack for allegory has improved. Illuminating some of the lyrical themes, Björnfot asserts “I love mythology. ‘Basilisk’ is, for example, the king of serpents but is rarely mentioned by the mainstream. ‘The Perpetual Darkness’ is about being born different from those who are ‘normal.’ It is also about being a lone wolf and banished from society. That song has become a personal favorite of mine.” Additionally, ‘De Dödas Sång (Song Of The Dead)’ tackles the disturbing theme of Ättestupa, the ancient Norse suicide ritual whereby elderly villagers jump to their deaths from sheer precipices.

Comments Björnfot on latest single, “The Ancient Gods,” “This song was written right after The Great Below was released. I have always wanted to write a song with super-heavy/tight guitar riffing that’s just easy to listen to while letting the vocals do most of the work. I also unleashed a bit of my inner David Gilmour on the outro.”

All instrumentation on The Formless Fires was composed and performed by Björnfot with the exception of drums which were resoundingly hammered by ex-Amon Amarth basher Fredrik Andersson. The record features the guest solos of Sebastian Ramstedt (Necrophobic) on “Traverse The Nether” and Chaq Mol (Dark Funeral) on “The Wings Of Death.”

Kvaen

KVAEN Live:
6/21/2024 Helvete – Oberhausen, DE
6/22/2024 Boarstream Open Air 2024 – Buchenbach, DE
6/23/2024 Nachtleben – Frankfurt, DE
8/30-31/2024 Bulasal Metal Fest – Västeräs, SE
5/03/2025 Karmøygeddon Fest – Kopervik, NO

KVAEN:
Jacob Björnfot – everything

KVAEN Live Lineup:
Jacob Björnfot – vocals/guitars
Kristian Gustavsson – guitars
Rasmus Rova – guitars
Per Lindström – bass
Fredrik Andersson – drums

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