Not wasting any time, Sky Swallower (released Sept. 3) kicks in with a jolt with “New Alchemy.” This trail blazing, drum propelled track proves to be just the tune to kick off the debut album by New Hampshire black metal mavens, Vattnet Viskar. This unassuming quartet is not as simple or "hip" as they would have you believe. Bubbling over with an ethereal, atmospheric sound, Sky Swallower is a ringer in the black metal world. Coming out of nowhere, more or less, with a symphonic cacophony of instrumental whimsy, Vattnet Viskar have made themselves ones to watch in the metal community.
With beautiful yet resounding tracks like “Breath of the Almighty” and “Mythos,” VV has created an impeccable balance between the dark and the light. Sky Swallower brings to mind a kind of Fleshgod Apocalypse meets the haunting melody of Cradle of Filth, sans the extreme costumes. Listening to this one thing is apparent; it is all about the music. These guys have crafted a musical journey through the skyline, the likes of which both black metal fans and skeptics alike will have to stand up and pay attention to.
The speed and fervor with which they play is clear and present in every string plucked and every drum head touched. Everything reads as intentional; there is not an errant note to be found. That is always a great find when you can catch them- a band that plays what they mean and means what they play. Every chord has a purpose, every cymbal a mission, and every word a reason. The divulgence from speed to slow strumming and back again is just prolonged enough to make you comfortable before it rips the rug out from underneath you again. This is the sound of madness; this is the breath of life- at times sweet and aromatic, and at other times rife with discord and pungent with depravity.
More intriguing and engaging than vile and disruptive, Sky Swallower is a must hear for any metal fan looking for a something to bridge the gap between their ears. Black metal has had a long, diverse and tumultuous history with the mainstream and other genres, but Vattnet Viskar is apparently looking to shake things up once again. These guys are out to prove that just like your morning cup o’ Joe, just because it’s black doesn’t mean it ain’t damn good!