VATHR is a new band, but also an old one. True, it is a new formation hailing from Bergen, Norway, but the members behind the band hold a fiery past forged in the ancient days of the notorious early ’90s scene. But rather than namedrop and create perhaps-unrealistic expectations – much less rely on past laurels, for that matter – the members of VATHR instead want to burn down the past and build a better, more monolithic future.
Indeed, they accomplish exactly that with the short & sweet mini-album Dead & United. At three songs across 20 minutes, VATHR map out a soundworld parallel to Bathory’s immortal Blood Fire Death, but teasingly reveal provocative new paths splintering off it. With a stellar mix & mastering courtesy of C. Korsvold at Cloud City Studios, Bergen, Dead & United swirls and stomps with a seductive atmosphere, stoic and heroic at every turn but never rushed nor never belabored. It moves the way it moves, how it wants to, enveloping the listener in an invigorating iciness truly steeped in the tundra of ancient Norway. VATHR may sound familiar, but only because their black metal authentically hails from the darkest past.
To restate the obvious, VATHR awaken the ancient spirit with this first step into the fire. For fans of Blood Fire Death-era Bathory and early Nordic black metal – and this is but a foretaste of the band’s even-grander debut album forthcoming from EDGED CIRCLE!
Vocals. Guitar & Bass by VATHR
Drums by “Råtteklæzzaren”
Keys & Samples by C. Korsvold
Recorded at Rock Dungeon Studioz
Mixed & Mastered by VATHR & C. Korsvold in CLOUD CITY STUDIOS
Cover photo by R.N. Mathisen