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Runespell – Shores Of Náströnd

runespell – shores of náströnd


Formed in 2017, Australian outfit Runespell has impressed not only with its hefty work rate, which in those seven years has yielded no fewer than five full-length albums, a demo (LP), 12″ EP and a split LP, but especially with its thoroughly authentic European sound. With that strongly distinctive sound still deeply ingrained in the Runespell’s core, the band brings the latest album in that impressive series with ‘Shores Of Náströnd’, which, like all previous works, has once again been released into the world by Iron Bonehead Productions.

To start off with a conclusion of sorts, ‘Shores Of Náströnd’ sounds like another chapter in the Runespell-book, a chapter that does not serve you with anything that you have not heard from the band before and without any element of surprise. But, while this might sound as a negative remark, this really isn’t. In fact, Runespell has clearly been refining and perfecting their craft over the course of recent years, propelling themselves to greater heights with each subsequent album.

Runespell has been known for its majestic Pagan feeling, but while this undeniably still is a vital part of the band’s musical formula, the tentative listener might have noticed that along the way Runespell has increasingly been adding atmospheric elements to its mix. While the preceding ‘Sentinels Of Time’ EP had a more than strong resemblance to Graveland, this newest instalment goes back to where the band left off with its previous full-length album. On ‘Shores Of Náströnd’ the band shows itself from its most balanced side in which their penchant for Graveland is still omnipresent, but finds a more harmonious state with the Atmospheric Black Metal parts of the music. This allows the music to sounds more diverse and dynamic than ever before, giving enough space to the beautiful melodies and folky elements. By building tension, the album naturally flows continuously towards new highs, guiding the listener along grand dreamscapes of bygone heroic times.

So, while on this latest album we can still hear the familiar Pagan roots, it is clear that Nightwolf passionately and skilfully leads his band along a more atmospheric path with a tight and creative hand, in doing so making Runespell sound more mature and balanced than ever before and showing himself as a true Pagan Black Metal craftsman.

Iron Bonehead Productions

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