Havukruunu - Uinuos Syömein Sota review




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Reviewer:
8.2

142 users:
8.30
Band: Havukruunu
Album: Uinuos Syömein Sota
Release date: July 2020


01. Uinuos Syömein Sota
02. Kunnes Varjot Saa
03. Ja Viimein On Yö
04. Pohjolan Tytär
05. Kuin Öinen Meri
06. Jumalten Hämär
07. Vähiin Päivät Käy
08. Tähti-Yö Ja Hevoiset


The latest album to lay claim to first place on our 'Top of 2020' list, Uinuos Syömein Sota has received a fairly rapturous response since its release; what makes it so popular?

Uinuos Syömein Sota is the third record by Finns Havukruunu, and for starters it is a very single-minded record. Given some of the challenges I can have during reviews in categorizing bands that straddle multiple genres or covers several different styles during a record, sometimes it's nice to have an album that you can sum up the sound of in a sentence or two. Havukruunu play Viking black metal, and sound exactly as you would expect from that genre tag. There's the constant tremolo meloblack riffs with folk/Viking melodies that alternate between mid-paced and full-pelt, there's the blast beat drumming, there's the tasteful folk lead guitar melodies, there's the combination of black metal shrieks and epic group cleans on the vocal front... If you go into this record expecting to hear a genre-bending take on the sound, you're straight outta luck. However, if you're fine with someone performing an established style to a very high standard, then Uinuos Syömein Sota should easily satisfy, as Havukruunu absolutely nail the Viking/black sound.

The title track sets the tempo for the record as a whole; after an opening minute of impassioned choirs, the band kicks straight into an assault of blast beats and tremolo. When the vocals enter, it slips into a fairly classic Viking meloblack riff, over which the shrieks and group cleans alternate. From then on, the remainder of the track is a barrage of blast beats, double bass rolls and folk black riffs, along with a pyrotechnic guitar solo or two thrown in for good measure, with only an occasional tempo change or pause to keep the momentum going. However, they judge these changes in pace and fluctuations between vocal styles well enough to avoid any hint of staleness emerging, which remains the case throughout the record. The next few tracks follow in a similar vein, with "Kunnes Varjot Saa" in particular delivering some very memorable classic-sounding riffs, along with a stirring epic bridge section.

The first five songs on the record are very similar stylistically, but with enough rearranging of the core components to be very distinctive despite substantial melodic overlap. All five are fairly exemplary demonstrations of this sound, but "Ja Viimein On Yö" perhaps just about stands out as the pick of the bunch, thanks to its memorable guitar leads and acoustic dalliances (although the lead guitar work, both in terms of full-fledged solos and simple melodic leads, is pretty excellent throughout). Following this stretch of the album, a brief acoustic singalong precedes the two lengthy closing tracks. These tracks pretty much follow the example set by the first few songs, and it may perhaps have been nice to see them take advantage of the extended runtimes to bring a couple of new ideas into the fold, particularly on "Vähiin Päivät Käy" ("Tähti-Yö Ja Hevoiset" mixes things up a bit more, with some rockier vibes early on and a lengthy synth outro). Still, even if there's no big departures in sound, the music that is included on these tracks remains as engaging as the rest of the record.

With the onslaught of black metal bands that are currently playing their own versions of pretty much all established sub-genres, to really stand out one needs to either offer some kind of innovation, or to deliver songs of an extremely high standard. Havukruunu don't do all that much on the innovation front, but there are few bands out there delivering this kind of Viking/black sound at a level even close to that on display on Uinuos Syömein Sota, so it's unsurprising that it's had such an enthusiastic reception.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 5
Production: 8


 



Written on 27.07.2020 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 24   Visited by: 152 users
27.07.2020 - 20:24
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I will remember that artwork for years to come. This and Árstíðir Lífsins are pretty much the only bands that can still make Viking black metal exciting.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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27.07.2020 - 20:28
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 27.07.2020 at 20:24

I will remember that artwork for years to come. This and Árstíðir Lífsins are pretty much the only bands that can still make Viking black metal exciting.


Yeah the artwork is pretty ace, may be an awards contender
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28.07.2020 - 09:43
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
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28.07.2020 - 10:16
nikarg
Mod
Quote:
Havukruunu don't do all that much on the innovation front, but there are few bands out there delivering this kind of Viking/black sound at a level even close to that on display on Uinuos Syömein Sota, so it's unsurprising that it's had such an enthusiastic reception.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. It just proves that a band doesn't need to reinvent the wheel to create something worthy of praise. This is so good without offering anything new to the table, but at the end of the day it's the songs' quality that matters and on this album the songwriting is top notch.
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28.07.2020 - 15:00
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
So, basically the Mgla of viking black metal 🤔
----
I have no memory of this place.
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28.07.2020 - 17:00
SatanicBlood
Someone posted this album on their page on FB a couple of weeks ago with just a "holy shit" caption. So I had to hear it, definitely a holy shit album. Fantastic, went through their back catalog and I am impressed I haven't heard of them earlier.
Definitely keeping my eye on these guys.
It's like everything Forefather should have been in terms of how melody is carried.
----
http://idolatryblackmetal.bandcamp.com

Canadian black metal
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28.07.2020 - 18:02
musclassia
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.07.2020 at 15:00

So, basically the Mgla of viking black metal 🤔


Pretty much, although I'd rate this album above Age of Excuse tbh
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28.07.2020 - 18:04
musclassia
Written by SatanicBlood on 28.07.2020 at 17:00

Someone posted this album on their page on FB a couple of weeks ago with just a "holy shit" caption. So I had to hear it, definitely a holy shit album. Fantastic, went through their back catalog and I am impressed I haven't heard of them earlier.
Definitely keeping my eye on these guys.
It's like everything Forefather should have been in terms of how melody is carried.


Forefather's an interesting reference point - only heard Last of the Line (I think that's what it's called) by Forefather, but this is quite a lot heavier on the black than that album, yet retains a similar degree of Viking melody
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28.07.2020 - 18:13
SatanicBlood
Written by musclassia on 28.07.2020 at 18:04

Written by SatanicBlood on 28.07.2020 at 17:00

Someone posted this album on their page on FB a couple of weeks ago with just a "holy shit" caption. So I had to hear it, definitely a holy shit album. Fantastic, went through their back catalog and I am impressed I haven't heard of them earlier.
Definitely keeping my eye on these guys.
It's like everything Forefather should have been in terms of how melody is carried.


Forefather's an interesting reference point - only heard Last of the Line (I think that's what it's called) by Forefather, but this is quite a lot heavier on the black than that album, yet retains a similar degree of Viking melody

The album that I draw comparison is Ours Is the Kingdom. There are melodies that give me strong nostalgia of when I first heard that album. Not saying it's complete side by side, but I'm definitely hearing more of them than any other band.
----
http://idolatryblackmetal.bandcamp.com

Canadian black metal
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28.07.2020 - 19:17
Rulatore
Quote:
there are few bands out there delivering this kind of Viking/black sound at a level even close to that on display on Uinuos Syömein Sota, so it's unsurprising that it's had such an enthusiastic reception.


I'ld love some recommendations here, because even though I'm not an expert in this kind of music, I have listened a fair share of bands of this style and I dont remember much of them being this memorable.

Their songwriting and production here is way better than most of their peers
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28.07.2020 - 22:34
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Rulatore on 28.07.2020 at 19:17


I'ld love some recommendations here, because even though I'm not an expert in this kind of music, I have listened a fair share of bands of this style and I dont remember much of them being this memorable.

Their songwriting and production here is way better than most of their peers


First that comes to mind: Moonsorrow.
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28.07.2020 - 23:23
Rulatore
Written by Netzach on 28.07.2020 at 22:34

First that comes to mind: Moonsorrow.


Yeah, Moonsorrow is the first band these guys get compared with haha, I was hoping for something less obvious
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28.07.2020 - 23:28
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Rulatore on 28.07.2020 at 23:23

Yeah, Moonsorrow is the first band these guys get compared with haha, I was hoping for something less obvious

Oops, I'm probably equally clueless then
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28.07.2020 - 23:29
Magere Tijn
Written by Rulatore on 28.07.2020 at 23:23

Written by Netzach on 28.07.2020 at 22:34

First that comes to mind: Moonsorrow.


Yeah, Moonsorrow is the first band these guys get compared with haha, I was hoping for something less obvious

How about Kalmankantaja? Check out https://kalmankantaja.bandcamp.com/album/waldeinsamkeit
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28.07.2020 - 23:50
roeder
This is a really good album. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Can't believe I never heard of these guys before.

I have a small gripe though. Others might find this stupid, but I get triggered a bit when anything Finnish gets tagged as "viking". I would much prefer the tag pagan metal in this case. But this is really just my pet peeve.
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28.07.2020 - 23:51
musclassia
Written by Netzach on 28.07.2020 at 22:34

Written by Rulatore on 28.07.2020 at 19:17


I'ld love some recommendations here, because even though I'm not an expert in this kind of music, I have listened a fair share of bands of this style and I dont remember much of them being this memorable.

Their songwriting and production here is way better than most of their peers


First that comes to mind: Moonsorrow.


Moonsorrow's a bit too epic and not as black as these guys. I'm not actually sure of a really obvious comparison - usually if I hear pagan/Viking black stuff along these lines it's a lot more forgettable and I just move on. Maybe Marrasmieli from this year or Obsequaie from last year might have some crossover appeal? I think the hard thing here is that this does sound generic, but all the other bands that sound generic don't make an impact like this one does so they don't come to mind readily to recommend

Edit: or maybe Windir? Been years since I've listened to them but feel like stuff like Arntor is quite similar
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28.07.2020 - 23:57
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by musclassia on 28.07.2020 at 23:51
Moonsorrow's a bit too epic and not as black as these guys. I'm not actually sure of a really obvious comparison - usually if I hear pagan/Viking black stuff along these lines it's a lot more forgettable and I just move on. Maybe Marrasmieli from this year or Obsequaie from last year might have some crossover appeal? I think the hard thing here is that this does sound generic, but all the other bands that sound generic don't make an impact like this one does so they don't come to mind readily to recommend

Yeah, fair point. A bit of an off-kilter recommendation might be Thrawsunblat. Their album Metachthonia is some of the best folk/black I've ever heard.
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29.07.2020 - 09:20
kukac
:banger2
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29.07.2020 - 14:28
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by roeder on 28.07.2020 at 23:50

I have a small gripe though. Others might find this stupid, but I get triggered a bit when anything Finnish gets tagged as "viking". I would much prefer the tag pagan metal in this case. But this is really just my pet peeve.

Do you mean to say that the term viking metal can be only used in reference to bands from Norway?
The tag refers to musical style, not a band's nationality.
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29.07.2020 - 20:14
roeder
Written by Daniell on 29.07.2020 at 14:28

Written by roeder on 28.07.2020 at 23:50

I have a small gripe though. Others might find this stupid, but I get triggered a bit when anything Finnish gets tagged as "viking". I would much prefer the tag pagan metal in this case. But this is really just my pet peeve.

Do you mean to say that the term viking metal can be only used in reference to bands from Norway?
The tag refers to musical style, not a band's nationality.

No, I think if someone is really adamant on using the term Viking metal then it should be used for bands that are from Scandinavia (which Finland is not part of), and whose lyrics/themes involve Nordic paganism or Scandinavian history.

Also I think there is no such musical style as Viking metal. If you check the bands that get tagged as such, you will find that viking-era Bathory or Falkenbach sound nothing like Windir or early Enslaved. I would argue that the former bands' sound is closer to Manowar (with the occasional harsh vocals added), than to any kind of black metal based pagan band.
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31.07.2020 - 15:22
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by RaduP on 27.07.2020 at 20:24

I will remember that artwork for years to come. This and Árstíðir Lífsins are pretty much the only bands that can still make Viking black metal exciting.

Well Yes, but few germans n scandinavia still are active in few live concerts per year , but not in album front. Come back vave can Come soon
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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10.08.2020 - 16:07
@gent_-_orange
Written by SatanicBlood on 28.07.2020 at 17:00

Someone posted this album on their page on FB a couple of weeks ago with just a "holy shit" caption. So I had to hear it, definitely a holy shit album. Fantastic, went through their back catalog and I am impressed I haven't heard of them earlier.
Definitely keeping my eye on these guys.
It's like everything Forefather should have been in terms of how melody is carried.


There is a good facebook group simply called "Black metal" with numerous second wave BM musicians as the banner which I recommend joining, some interesting stuff is posted on it, someone posted this bands first album quite a while back and I've been hooked on them ever since, they're anthemic without trying to be.
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10.08.2020 - 16:26
SatanicBlood
Written by @gent_-_orange on 10.08.2020 at 16:07

Written by SatanicBlood on 28.07.2020 at 17:00

Someone posted this album on their page on FB a couple of weeks ago with just a "holy shit" caption. So I had to hear it, definitely a holy shit album. Fantastic, went through their back catalog and I am impressed I haven't heard of them earlier.
Definitely keeping my eye on these guys.
It's like everything Forefather should have been in terms of how melody is carried.


There is a good facebook group simply called "Black metal" with numerous second wave BM musicians as the banner which I recommend joining, some interesting stuff is posted on it, someone posted this bands first album quite a while back and I've been hooked on them ever since, they're anthemic without trying to be.
I'm on the page but I've muted it, too many people flooding it with memes and bands that are on the shit list with mods doing next to nothing to keep the order.
----
http://idolatryblackmetal.bandcamp.com

Canadian black metal
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16.09.2020 - 06:30
sgtrobo
This is getting better and better each time I listen to it. It is not just great to start with, it somehow manages to be a grower.

I am thinking the reviewer might want to throw it on a few more spins and see if that ranking is still accurate.
great review BTW
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