#Fyrgast As Darkness Swept The Lands

4 min read

Band: Fyrgast
Title: As Darkness Swept the Lands
Label: War Productions (tape release)
Release Date: 1 December 2023
Country: Sweden
Format reviewed: High-quality digital recording

Decided to travel in my music adventures for my ears only, to Sweden today, specifically to listen to Fyrgast’s “As Darkness Swept the Lands”. This album was originally released in December of 2022, but the remastered cassette tape will be released as well as of December 1, 2023, under the War Productions Label. Fyrgast is a one-person band, namely Vidar Wetterhall and oh what a world he introduces us to in this release. I should note here as well, that not only does he shift and shape his music according to his parameters, but he also is an artist, and you will see many of his creative artistic renditions on his Instagram account. I was taken with the artwork, but today is about his music, so here we go…

Oh, just in case you were wondering Fyrgast pulls from black metal in his music, but also other sources. The album soars darkens, and gives us what I’d call a heartbeat of rhythms that change and ripple like water. An ocean of sound that constantly moves.

There are 9 (Nine) tracks on this tape starting with the mystical “Bloodmoon” as the intro. “Bloodmoon” opens in a mysterious and portending varying keyboards, both airy and ethereal as well as a darker-edged sense that something is on its way. Something unknown. Following that, beginning is “The Shores to Infinity”. This track begins in a progressive style, with a modern sound. Vidar starts his vocals with a guttural throat-scraping growl and then the track picks up some harsher-sounding tremolo-driven guitars and drums. All the while, the guttural vocal keeps us wondering about what is happening, because something is. Nearing the end of this track is an interlude piece, woven from threads of mystery and possible discoveries to come.

Here we are at the third track, “To the Kingdoms of Frost”. Tremolos and drums kick this off, with a powerful relentless pattern, to match Vidar’s singing. The patterns pull back in and come blasting, giving a weighty expression to this track. Tremolos soften and become less harsh but build back to that beginning sound off the start. Now we get the 4th track, “A Serpent’s Tongue”. This one has a different mood, slower and more deliberate, but it too soon descends back to the darker expression and holds it. Melodic tones here, with the way the song catches the mood from the instrumentation.

This brings us to the 5th track, “Commanding the Storms”. The song begins slowly with a doom speed on intro. Interesting to change up with the doomy-heavy pound of drum and speed, it engages you and causes you to wonder just what else can be heard in this album. We are onto track 6, “Shadows of the Void”. Those beginning drums in this, wow. Another switch-up. Drums are on fire with the change of speed and cadences in this: fast, slow, mid-range pacing then back and start over. The song builds up more speed and presence as it carries on.

Lucky No. 7 is entitled, “For Eternal Wisdom”. Those drums are knocking again, wanting into your ear canals and the vocal just pushes and carries grit and fire to match. The variance of tones in this takes you on a journey. Number 8 is “Thy Chains Shall be Broken”. Melodic metal feel to this, with the epic fullness of sound. There is something so lulling in this, can’t help but feel that beat, and emotion being layered into the music. There’s a darkness and hopelessness to it, but it’s so engaging: the way darkness can be both heavy and intensely beautiful at the same time. Ooh, then the change in pace, and then this track eats everything in its path. This track is my favorite.

Here we are at Number 9, “As Darkness Swept the Lands”. We are back to that light, airy sound similar to the intro track. Keyboards, more modern sounding mood scape for your mind to wander in. This outro lengthens into a static background sound overlayed by the sense that again, something is coming, Foreboding and beautiful expression in the keyboards and drums.

Fyrgast is an artist not to be contained in one genre. His interest ranges and it’s reflected in his music. What he does is take his music, and sing to the underlying unspoken parts and does that very well.

I give a 7.5/10 Metal Marie

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7.5/10 Victory is possible 
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