Track By Tracks: Náttligr - Ravatal (2023)

1. Engulfed in Flames Dies Our World Tonight:

A blazing fast, relentless, old-school black metal track. We wanted to go for the jugular with the opener and let everything else sort itself out later. This track isn't about Satan or whatever else, though, but about the inferno that we brought into our own world - global warming. Of course, Cattle Decapitation, for example, has covered this topic in extreme music, but it's not been widely represented in black metal. Which is a shame, since what can be more horrifying than our species unwittingly setting our own planet on fire?

2. Ravatal:

This track is in Hungarian and the title means "catafalque" - the Oxford Dictionary defines it as "a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state." It is a complete departure from the previous track since this is our slowest, most doom-oriented one and it is nearly entirely clean-sung. The difference was meant to be shocking compared to the first song - that one showcased our black metal side, whereas this one showcases our doom metal roots. A slow dirge towards the grave.

3. A pokol kapuja:

The second Hungarian track - not an exact translation, but it means something like "The Gates of Hell". Lots of low, baritone clean vocals on this one but the instrumentation is mostly mid-ish tempo black metal. The song is sort of like a more stripped-back version of some early Vintersorg material - no keyboards on our end, though. This is the only song on the album where we make any kind of commentary on religion. It is an allegorical journey in the afterlife, accompanying those who blindly acted according to their religious beliefs in this life and brought nothing but misery and suffering to others and themselves. The end of the track is the realization of this fact, once it is too late. There is no escape from the hell you created.

4. Swansong:

The oldest song on the album. I (T. K.) wrote this in early 2018, after the passing of someone who was dear to me. Lyrically, it is a description of a Viking funeral, and, accordingly, we added a few other elements musically as well. We start off with a death/doom section mixed with black metal and then drift towards a more Scandinavian folk / Viking metal-oriented sound - sort of like late-era Bathory, with some more "epic" and occasionally layered clean vocals. We also have a few nods towards some of the great old British doom bands - My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, for example. The song wraps up with a furious black metal part that is interspersed with some calmer, resigned doom sections. The longship is burning, never to return to the shore.

5. Esthajnalcsillag:

Another Hungarian title. This is a short acoustic instrumental piece. Well, that is a mostly accurate description but not entirely - we don't want to spoil this one too much, though. It is based on Hungarian folk music. The album is rather dense and punishing so we wanted to give the listeners a bit of a break before getting back into the fray with the album closer. The title cannot really be translated, but it is the Hungarian folk name for Venus - sort of like "evening-morning star".

6. Svart sol:

The album closer. A black/folk metal song all the way through, it is based on old Norwegian folklore about the black plague - see Theodore Kittelsen's Pesta drawings, for example. The titular "black sun" is the vision from the ground, when the sun is blocked out by the ascending ashes of the burning bodies of those who succumbed to the plague. We wrote this song before our very own plague in 2020, so it is not inspired by that, but it did end up feeling a bit prophetic. This song is also the one that is closest to our album opener in terms of sound, "framing" the album in a sense. This one is more akin to old Norwegian black/folk bands like Windir, but there is a bit of old-school Mayhem and Darkthrone in there too. We wanted to keep the production throughout the album raw and authentic as well - the album starts and ends with some feedback. The circle of life - ashes to ashes, dust to dust, noise to noise.

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