Besvärjelsen are a Swedish doom band and this is their second album.
This hefty release has a doom metal base that’s then mixed with grunge, and has heavy, stoner, blues, and psychedelic rock elements liberally sprinkled over everything. Some songs lean into certain influences more than others, which leads to a decent amount of variety across the album. The promo blurb mentions Alice in Chains and Windhand, and that’s a decent picture of Besvärjelsen’s sound, albeit an incomplete one.
Atlas contains ten well-crafted tracks that are worth a 47 minutes of your time to get to know.
The lead singer has a distinctive voice that melds power with grace, and her delivery acts as a focal point throughout this release. Her voice is imbued with personality and feeling, and her performance is exemplary. The interplay between the charismatic vocals, the melodies, and the rest of the music is developed and realised quite naturally, allowing the songs to feel both tight and loose at the same time.
The songs have a lot of character, as well as a more individual quirkiness that stands out. A good range of paces and moods are represented throughout Atlas, allowing the band to show that they can handle different types of material well. All of the songs are well-written and carry a well-developed emotive presence. Some of the material has an energetic feel to it, while at other times the songs are so swamped in rich emotion that they feel pulled down under the weight of it all. The former are abuzz with negative energies, while the latter really display the doom part of the band’s musical equation.
Catchy and memorable, with plenty of depth, hooks, and quality vocal lines, Atlas is definitely a release to spend some time with. It’s a richly textured album that rewards multiple listens, as the songs burrow into your brain and set up home.
Very highly recommended.
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