Walknut – Graveforests and Their Shadows
October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
Full-length, Stellar Winter Records, 2007
Hailing from Moscow, Russia, Walknut feature a mere two members, namely Stringsskald (more known for his work with Temnozor), who writes all the songs and plays all instruments, as well as Ravnaskrik, the lyricist. In many ways this is a one-man band. Their only offering to date, Graveforests and Their Shadows includes a total of six tracks, four of which clock in at over ten minutes.
Some bands’ sound, good or bad, can be hard to define with words. This, however, isn’t the case for Walknut. The overall sounds and aural transmissions can be properly summed up as Burzum worship. And yes, as much as that might make you cringe, it’s as good as Burzum worship will get. I do understand that there are hundreds, if not thousands of Burzum worship bands out there that blandly copy Varg’s sound without bringing anything new to the table. I’m aware of that fact.
However, it would be dumb to ignore the musicianship and talent that this musician possesses. Speaking of this album’s production, it’s nothing short of spectacular (and let’s not forget how important production is in this genre). Definitely not over or underproduced, it’s clear that Stringsskald’s almost fifteen years of experience in the genre have served him well. It’s easy to see that “they” got the sound they were looking for. As is the case for all the masters of the black arts, Walknut know how to make a ten minute song dreamy, melancholic and properly structured, as opposed to botchy, repetitive, redundant and boring. Also, it’s interesting to note that out the entire 42 minutes on this album, only the opener Hrimfaxi features ambient sounds. Other than that, it’s pretty much black metal from top to bottom.
Overall, this is a perfectly executed album, with stellar production and appealing song structures. The only thing one could accuse Walknut of is their similarities to Burzum. But, as most fans of black metal will tell you, Varg’s music has touched the hearts of thousands of musicians, and this influence is still going strong in today’s black metal. For the hundreds of band that suck as worshipping Burzum, Walknut do it right. It also goes without saying that if you were never a fan of Burzum, then you won’t even enjoy this album. But for anyone who can appreciate what Burzum has done and can appreciate this type of honesty without compromise, then I highly recommend this album.