Tvær’s atmospheric black metal worships at the altar of nature, pays homage to woods on ‘Uvær’

There’s never a bad time to take an extended period to enjoy nature, because no matter the time of year, there’s always something majestic to see. But right now in the U.S. is a particularly opportune time because life is bursting again, the trees are lush with leaves, and the weather is nice enough that you can spend time out there in relative comfort.

It’s also an ideal time to dig right into the heart of “Uvær,” the debut full-length record from Minnesota-based atmospheric black metal band Tvær. Their sound is huge and punishing, a nice blend of raw and bursting power that can fill you with energy and make you want to embrace our fragile surroundings while they last. The band—guitarist/vocalist AC, guitarist/bassist MH, bassist AA, drummer EC—sound like they’ve taken great inspiration from deep inside the woods, drinking deeply from their rich home state and translating that into their art that should ignite your own fire in your heart.

“I” quietly drips in before things surge, riffs charge, and great energy jolts. The shrieks tear apart any sense of calm as melodies race heavily, and chaos splatters, ripping through your senses. Fluid and mangling, the pace stomps, and the vocals crash through walls as a rush of storms ravage, the fury peaks, and everything bleeds out in cold strains. “II” starts with clean playing before the riffs open, and the shrieks hammer away. Delirious melodies smash away as the drums explode, and wild cries explode, pushing through your rib cage. That cataclysm settles into colder waters that lap over you before the volcanic power as the riffs take off, and it feels tornadic as it approaches. The playing plasters as the walls come crashing down, and that drives to a huge end before spilling out.

“III” picks up and unleashes a long stretch of clean, propulsive playing before the volcano violently bursts, leaning into a riff rampage. The guitars charge hard, smashing away and leaving you in rubble as shrill yells gnaw at your psyche. A vicious deluge strikes as the vocals hammer away, melodies pummel, and the force crushes you right to the end. “IV” begins with the drums lighting up and the riffs lapping, battering through the front gates. Clean calls echo as things turn blinding, letting melodic punishment have its way with you and icing down your mind. Shrill shrieks attack again, clean chants echo, and that leans into a clean pocket that washes over and cools the heat. That playing continues to stream before it heads off into the sea and toward instrumental closer “V.” The track is treated with rustic acoustics, a dark folk vibe, harps igniting, and a calm, solemn ending soothing wounds.

There’s not a place on earth where Tvær would have been more at home than with Bindrune Recordings, where they slip right in among a roster of like-minded creators. “Uvær” is a jarring, atmospheric, splattering first record that feels like it’ll be even more immersive once in the heart of deep nature. This is an exciting first step for a band that’s right up our fucking alley, and I can’t wait to hear where they go from here.

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