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First fact about Vattnet Viskar: Their name is Swedish for “the water is whispering.” Second fact about Vattnet Viskar: Other than that name, nothing about this band is whispering.

They’re also not Swedish; though their brutalizing style of blackened doom is as cold, dark and vicious as any Scandinavian winter. They’re from New Hampshire, a place that is arguably just as shaped by nature and the elements. Their music bears many of the calamitous hallmarks of old-school Norwegian Black Metal—throat-shredding vocals, tremolo picking, an exultation of the environment coupled with a distrust of the establishment. But Vattnet Viskar reinterprets these influences with a stoicism and wry humor that could only come from New England. Vattnet Viskar released a demo in 2011, but the quartet started turning heads with its first official release, an eponymous three-song EP that came out in March on Broken Limb Recordings. It was recorded in a barn during the chilly autumn of 2011—a suitably New England image, minus a covered bridge.

The EP’s showpiece is its final number, “Barren Earth.” Clocking in at more than 13 minutes, the song starts with the sound of a howling wind before launching into a mournful, almost Flamenco-sounding guitar and pounding, tribal drums. Everything drops out but a chugging, crackling bass line, just before a spree of noise races in, enveloping the listener like a fast-moving ice storm. The maelstrom builds intensity, then recedes, rolling back into wave after wave. Vattnet Viskar’s water isn’t whispering; it’s raging. —Karen A. Mann


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