Premiere: Stortregn – “Circular Infinity”

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Black and death metal can be amazing when combined correctly, and even better yet with a dash of tech thrown in. Stortregn is just such a band, and we’re bringing you a premiere of their new video for “Circular Infinity” along with a review of Emptiness Fills the Void.

Stortregn say their music is for fans of ThulcandraSacramentum, and Marduk, and those influences come through pretty clearly in “Circular Infinity.” The band has a very strong grasp of what makes their predecessors iconic, and they channel that influence through a lens of modern songwriting. It carries the same sense of harshness as their forebears, but with greater depth and complexity. Bouncy pedal-tone riffing is mixed in with big chords and dramatic leads; there is no shortage of interesting and exciting hooks for your ears to latch on to. Check out the video to see their instrumental mastery in action:

While fans of the old will find plenty to like here, I’d also put this album in the same camp as Hyperion’s Seraphical Euphony and Enfold Darkness’ Our Cursed Rapture. All three albums occupy a space between melodic death metal and black metal, bordering on tech, but without ever quite crossing that threshold. The focus here is on dark, entrancing melody with tons of hooks; it’s active music, but not busy. There’s always some motion, be it in the form of counterpoint melodies, dueling leads, or bass arpeggios, but the pace they set never pushes you too hard. Breaks and big moments come at exactly the right moments, and the drummer’s sense for the feel of each section (combined with some excellent pocket playing) make it flow like water. Take “Nonexistence” for example: the song is one of the longer offerings on Emptiness, clocking in at six and a half minutes, but it never once feels like it’s dragging on.

Behold that Dan Seagrave art in its full glory

The solos here are fantastic as well. Rather than just acting as filler or showboating, they’re used as transitional moments, shepherding the song from one idea to the next organically. That might not seem like a particularly significant achievement, but as the feeling of a song or passage in any strain of blackened metal is as important as the riff, solos might seem superfluous or self-indulgent. Such is not the case here; no note feels wasted, and each solo feels like it belongs specifically to the song it’s in. Emotive as they are, that doesn’t mean they can’t shred when they want to; they just do it tastefully.

All told, Emptiness Fills the Void is a hell of an album. It’s filled to bursting with sweet blackened death riffs, and the progressive and technical touches make it that much more enthralling. Stortregn deliver a modernized take on a classic sound, executed with skill and expertise. It’s a fun ride end to end, and I imagine it will draw in a wide variety of listeners. You can pick it up now through Non Serviam Records’ webstore and Bandcamp pages. Stortregn can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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