Fer De Lance - The Hyperborean review
|Band:||Fer De Lance|
|Release date:||April 2022|
01. Aurora Borealis
02. The Mariner
03. Ad Bestias
05. Northern Skies
06. Arctic Winds
07. The Hyperborean
In Greek mythology we come across a legendary race, called the Hyperboreans, who lived in the far north of the known world, even beyond the North Wind. Fer De Lance’s debut LP is the music they made.
The band was formed by vocalist/guitarist and main songwriter MP of Moros Nyx fame, alongside bassist and original drummer Rüsty (of Hitter, Midnight Dice, and the -sadly- disbanded Satan's Hallow). Following the release of one of 2020’s best EPs, Colossus, The Hyperborean comes two years later and it is shaped by the crashing waves of the black seas, whipped by the howls of the frozen winds, and painted with the vivid colours of the aurora borealis.
“The land is filled with nothing but death
The sea, take me away on Aiolos’s breath
I sail on Poseidon’s wine dark seas
But I follow Helios on a westerly breeze”
And so the journey begins. Viking-era Bathory, early Ereb Altor, Scald, and Atlantean Kodex compose the different heads of Fer De Lance’s spear. The music is based on riffs that are proud, lofty, and galloping, while combining folky acoustic passages (courtesy of Mandy Martillo, known from Satan's Hallow and Midnight Dice) with beautiful melancholic melodies and mighty vocals. And it is not just the music that makes this album epic in the whole sense of the word; it is also its overarching atmosphere. The Hyperborean feels like it was recorded at the top of the rocks in the extreme north, above the rivers crossed by drakkars that were setting out to explore what was beyond the cold seas. The -once again- stunning artwork of Adam Burke is a fine visual depiction of the sonic content, and you can literally see the “Aurora Borealis”, the “Northern Skies”, and the “Arctic Winds” on his painting.
The songs are long but they never become uninteresting, the atmosphere is encompassing but it doesn’t sabotage the distinct identity of each composition, the lyricism is omnipresent but it doesn’t take away anything from the primitiveness of the pure metal ethos. Listen to how the beautiful intro track lends its melody to the thundering opening of “The Mariner”, be seduced by the doom-laden “Sirens”, get swept away by the swirling blackened character of “Ad Bestias” and “Arctic Winds”, let yourself immerse in the interplay of acoustic and electric guitars on “Northern Skies”, and, finally, find Ithaca with the album’s closing title track. It is not the Ithaca you were taught about in school though, but another one that is located at the northernmost corner of the world; it is the final destination of a mariner who abandoned known ‘civilization’, in search of a land that would be free of pain and suffering. And so the journey ends.
“I searched a brand new world, I found
A land for me, when all else have drowned”
The Hyperborean is on an entirely different level than most other epic heavy metal albums I have come across lately. As far as I am concerned, the very essence of metal flows straight through it.
||Written on 12.05.2022 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!|
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