Vederkast is a new band to me, and they are a new band on the scene as well as they recently released a debut album Northern Gothic. Thanks to good folks from Prog Sphere Promotions who provided the album, I’m very happy to be introduced to the world of this Tromso, Norway based progressive/stoner rockers.
The music on Northern Gothic is extremely well thought out. The riffs are memorable, and the production is top notch. The band recorded the album at Lydproduksjon studio in Tromso, and it was mixed and mastered by Yngvar Mehus at GRStudios.
The entirety of the album has a huge textured feel. A big wall of sound. There’s a lot going on, but it never gets sloppy, even in their more psychedelic moments. You get pulled right back in to the simple groove most of time, but complex parts on Northern Gothic is where the band shines. Honestly, it’s hard to describe because of the immense amount of things going on.
The guitars weave in and out of pristine clean, and all out fuzz breakdowns. Guitarists Finn Fodstad and Sindre Bakland play so well in tandem that sometimes what you hear sounds like one guitar track. I can’t comment on how well they pull this off live, but if it’s even half as good as on the album, that’s impressive. There are plenty of almost metallic guitar breakdowns, that are heavy as hell, but stay just outside the realm of being in-your-face abrasive. Tasteful, is a good word. The standout tracks for this borderline are opening “Skirmish,” “Malison,” “Leave Them Behind,” “Forget Me Not,” and “Meliora.” The tracks walk a fine line between being metal and, it could be said, everything else. This all is done very classy. Some of the most impressive moments on Northern Gothic is when things are understated, I would say psychedelic. And just to get music-nerdy, the chord voicings are sometimes dissonant and other times beautiful.
All of the tracks “bleed” into one another, sound like one big song when listened to in order. This is almost a lost art these days, as most people put out singles in lieu of a fully realized concept of an album.
In closing: The songs on Northern Gothic are masterfully crafted. With excellent songwriting and production, this album is one of the best discoveries this year. I really cannot wait to hear what they come up with next.
Buy the album here.