One thing that I love about this site and getting to review music is that I learn so much about this planet. I love getting messages from artists from places that I didn’t know about. Not only do I get to learn about the artist but also the country and area they are from.
I love it because often the culture of the area is quite present in the music. The band Vederkast are from Tromsø, a town above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. The climate and nature in general has to have a profound effect on the people of that region. It is certainly represented in the gritty music on the album “Northern Gothic.”
The term “vederkast” is a Nothern Norwegian myth that is a “curse that creatures from the underworld wield willfully upon the innocent. The band’s music isn’t a curse but you do feel the power they exude. Stylistically, the take elements of bands like Mastodon, Baroness and especially a favorite of mine, One Inch Giant, and blend them with their own take on muscular hard rock fused with the technicality of prog rock.
The key ingredients to the Vederkast sound are the urgent vocals of bassist Paul Aronsen along with riffs and rhythms that are complex and yet catchy at the same time. Vocally they remind me of how Baroness approach things but they are very much like a more technical version of One Inch Giant. I hate having to compare bands but it’s the easiest way to get a reference point.
“Skirmish” feels like a blues number, at least vocally but it’s way too slippery to obey a simple blues format. “Malison” is the band’s single and video. That is a favorite of mine. Awesome riffs and Aronsen’s insistent howl make this song so powerful. Check out the video for it below.
Two songs that I love are of course the longer ones. “My Burden” has plenty of atmosphere which something I love. The song lets the band open up their sound. I love how the chorus kicks in and I love the melody line. The drumming is another thing to take note of. While the music itself might seem like there’s nothing too tricky, don’t be fooled. Drummer Magnus Tornensis is not content to lay back. He is an aggressive drummer that adds a lot to each track. Bands like this are only as good as their drummer. He’s real good.
Another favorite is the closer “Remain.” It’s heavy as fuck with some great riffs. I like that it’s the flip of what the band does on many of the tracks. The verses are heavy and the chorus mellows out. The band understands that the song comes first and that each song should have plenty of riffs and hooks to go with strong melody lines.
Vederkast are a prog rock band that tries to play stoner rock but clearly can’t resist making each song have a unique and sometimes subtle technical vibe. The average listener will be fooled but the dedicated listener will find many amazing moments on “Nothern Gothic.” Vederkast are not a myth. This is as authentic as it gets.
2. The View
4. My Burden
5. Leave Them Behind
6. Into The Unknown
7. Forget Me Not