There’s a certain type of majestic, haunting melody that can rip you right out of reality — Draugnim know it well. Set to barreling drums and waves of crashing guitars, it conjures the imagery of a doomed cavalry charge, or the sort of mythical battle that only exists in movies like Braveheart. Which is to say: This is powerful, soul-stirring stuff! The kind of music that transmogrifies horror into timeless myth, satisfying the fundamental human need to imbue senseless loss with meaning. A real battle would be a tuneless clatter of swords punctuated with screams; add a mournful soundtrack that captures both the intensity of war and its crushing futility, and you’ve got the aural equivalent of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge Of The Light Brigade.” Frankly, I have no idea what Draugnim are singing about here, but it doesn’t really matter when the riffs and melodic hooks are this perfectly wrought, and the effect on my imagination is the same. Hailing from Finland and signed to the consistently excellent French extreme-metal label Debemur Morti, Draugnim play what can best be called “pagan black metal,” touching on the brilliance of Primordial, the less folky side of Moonsorrow, early Aeternus, and Viking-period Bathory. The songs are scathing, drenched in rousing melody, and rich with antiquity. It doesn’t get much better. Today we’re premiering the first single from Draugnim’s new LP, Vulturine; the song is called “As In Hunger, So In Demise,” and you should definitely listen.
Vulturine is out 3/11 via Debemur Morti.