What can I say about Sweden, the home of the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene and also have the most influential bands in the genre of all time. Ranging from Amon Amarth, Scar Symmetry, Dark Tranquillity and Gates Of Ishtar, to other legendary outfitters including Dark Funeral, Dissection and Unanimated to name a few. Meet Night Crowned, a extreme metal band formed in 2016 from Gothenburg, Västra Götaland, Sweden and to perfectly describe their sound is take the vocals from Behemoth and Belphegor, drumming from Dark Funeral and Fleshgod Apocalypse, create a album showcasing the band’s most blackened, versatile and experimental albums in their career but in a much more contemporary, modernized and apocalyptic hybrid of melodic black metal and death metal and you get Night Crowned in a description that I hope this band catches your attention.
Released through Noble Demon, Hädanfärd is the band’s second full-length and is the continuation to the debut in 2020 titled Impius Viam. Now rest assure, I was not prepared whatsoever of what to expect from this band since I was gifted one of their EP’s by a generous human being couple years ago and I was not completely letdown by it front to back. This time however, Hädanfärd takes their soundscapes, craftsmanship, creativity and original ideas to create a vision that is so heavy, catchy at times and even progressive to a extent really seem to know that Night Crowned surely loves how to make the music feel fiercer, appropriate and approachable while maintaining the traditional formula this band is known for have kept my expectations met extremely high.
Even the moments I heard tracks such as Fjättrad, Människans förfall and Nattkrönt for example I get some huge clean vocals that bring out a strong Borknagar vibe while the atmosphere and pummeling instrumentation work brings a Old Man’s Child and Gorgoroth influence due to the vocals giving a raspy, throaty and warcry like style of singing that immediately caught my attention just to hear the dynamics, arrangements and musicality on the album is fascinating and I really think this band has such huge potential to become a global force in the extreme metal world. Then other tracks such as Rex Tenebrae and Enslingen do bring out a symphonic black metal aesthetic reminding me of something Emperor would create due to the sturdy, frosty and mystical sounds to give the record a much depth and comprehended narrative to bring out the best of both worlds is what made the band feel unique and prominent. Hädanfärd goes down as one of my absolute favorite records of 2021 and if you’re looking for a album showcasing emotion, character and symbolism then Sweden’s Night Crowned is worth your immediate attention.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Jake Butler