Last year Night Crowned released great in all ways debut album Impius Viam and it was included in many 2020 Top-10 rightfully. However, the band didn’t remain idle during 2020 but worked on a new long play, named Hädanfärd, which largely continues what the band started with their debut.
Initially it was planned to release the album in two versions – in English and in Swedish but later it was decided to leave just the Swedish one. However it doesn’t ruin and doesn’t affect anything, on the contrary, Swedish version even delivers some “Northern” authenticity.
Musically, Hädanfärd is bigger and much more various than its predecessor. It has much more striking and memorable melodies and at the same time the new album is heavier, darker and more brutal than Impius Viam. However, musicians purposely decrease tempo from time to time, as a result of which there are some acoustic elements present in some songs; vocalist K. Romlin suddenly uses clean vocals and in the middle of the album there is an acoustic self-titled interlude “Hädanfärd”. Talking about variety, musicians did a really great job here and almost every song is a multifaceted and multilayered dark canvas with lots of riffs and atmospheric elements.
Hädanfärd opens with melodic synth intro – that’s how the first single “Nattkrönt” starts. Soon it changes with Blackened riffs and mighty drum attack (J. Jaloma’s drumming here is stunning like in a previous album), while the music manage to keep the melody, combining darkness and brutality but staying melodic at the same time. “Rex Tenebrae” and “Enslingen in their turn immediately fall on the listener with all their heaviness; J. Eskilsson and H. Liljesand’s riffs are fast and mighty just as they should be, while the drummer delivers some long blast beating. However, you can hear the melody here as well and keyboards create the atmosphere greatly, in full accordance with the dark theme of the album – meeting the death personally.
At the same time, there is not only Blackened Death Metal that fans were waiting for. “Fjättrad” starts with Black Metal riffs but further some kind of Folk motives can be heard (without losing brutality or melody though). “Ett Gravfäst Öde” starts in a bit epic way and later turns into a Viking Metal or rather it will be better to say “a severe Northern motive.” “Människans Förfall” in its turn starts deceptively slow, habitually changes with great Blackened Death but further it transforms into a “marching” Viking Metal.
The most diverse and probably “illustrative” song in Hädanfärd is “Grått & Ödelagt” as a quintessence of the album, as for me: synths intro changes with mighty guitars and drums, some tragedy can be heard in vocals but it’s all gone pretty fast and then comes brutality of riffs, extreme vocal and melody. In the middle of the song the music fades out a bit just to hear a wicked whispering of K. Romlin and in the end the music becomes Blackened one more time with some sorrow melody.
To sum things up, Hädanfärd is a real step forward for Night Crowned. They not just kept everything that was good on Impius Viam but multiplied by making music more diverse. Maybe somebody will not like lyrics in Swedish but as I said earlier, I don’t see any problem with this at all. As for the rest, it’s another great album from relatively new band with experienced musicians though, who know what they do and how to make it great.
Hädanfärd will be released on July, 9th via Noble Demon.
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