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Noitila – Langennut

noitila – langennut


Noitilahti is a bay on the Lahnaselkä lake in Kuusamo, a municipal located in the Northern Ostrobothnia region in North-eastern Finland. Translating to Witches’ Bay, the scenery of dense pine forests and vast lakes served as inspiration to form the band Noitila. And judging by the landscape that adorns the cover of their album ‘Langennut’, it is not hard to imagine how such ancient beauty bewitched the members behind this otherwise mysterious duo.

Inspired by the days of old would be a rather fitting way to describe pretty much everything about ‘Langennut’. That starts with the recording conditions. An old leather chair that served as a bass drum, acoustic guitars recorded in the forest and lyrics conjured by spiritualistic means have all led to a sound that’s incredibly authentic. The guitars have a raw edge but are rather more first wave sounding than the shrill early nineties Black Metal tone. With a rich bass, analogue sounding drums and beautiful integration of acoustic guitars and synthesizers, the band has found a sound that is clear with the right amount of bite. The vocal performance is downright phenomenal (that opening scream of ‘Kadotuksen Liekki’!) and spans intense extended shrieks, delightful ughs and clean choirlike chants. Combining all this together, the band has created seven tracks that stylistically have overlap with the early work of bands such as Ulver, Isengard, Tulus, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Bathory and a bit of Barathrum. This is all woven together by excellent songwriting, which is catchy in a memorable sort of way and above all dynamic. And that’s not in the sense of adding endless riffs, but rather in the art of subtle changes in drum fills and pace that make the at times intense pace flow delicately into more grooving or calming sections.

‘Kylvemme Sateessa Enkelten Veren’ (‘We Bathe in the Rain of Angels’ Blood’) captures the layered sound and repertoire of the band excellently, rocking and full of pace with excellent atmosphere-enhancing organs. But a few more tracks are worth putting under the magnifying glass. The more epic and midtempo Isengard-inspired side of Noitila comes out at the start of ‘Noitilaan’ before more groove and background chants give it a more Tulus-like vibe. Some of the most remarkable vocals found on the album come back in ‘Langennut’, both in the harsh vocals and the entrancing clean recitation of the lyrics “Loveen langennut. Kuolemaan kaatunut. Saivion syövereistä loitsunsa laatinut” (which should translate to something like “Fallen into the chasm. Fallen to death. The one who made his spell from Saivio’s ravens”). ‘Ruumis’ is another noteworthy song, which for most of its duration resides in an almost Black Sabbath like tone and pace only to escalate into 50 seconds of monotonous blasting, tremolo fury and deranged vocals. Just some examples of what one can expect on an album that’s essentially great from start to finish.

Those that follow the Nordvis label know that it stands for excellent quality with a recognizable sound. Noitila fits in perfectly, and in my opinion sounds distinct and even belongs to the very finest acts on the roster. Unfortunately for the vinyl lovers like myself there don’t seem to be plans for an LP version yet, but the CD should be out on October 20th. Followers of the label should take careful notice of this one!


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