Album: The House Spirit
Release Date: 24th April 2017
Record Label: Unsigned
The House Spirit is a conceptual EP telling the tale of the Domovoi, a house spirit in Slavic folklore. The Domovoi (from my small amount of research) is said to protect the house, but if the home owners are negligent in their duties to look after the Domovoi with offerings and treating the house well, the Domovoi will be displeased and attempt to get them to leave the house.
This EP seems to tell the tale of a nastier Domovoi, and a night of survival with this nastier spirit. The four tracks seem to flow into one song; and the last track, Daughter of the Dawn, is an near 10 minute epic tale on its own.
You are greeted by a crackling fire, and deep group chants. I could see myself in a dwarven hall or in a small clearing around a fire with a horn of mead, in the dark of night. The full band soon kicks in, and I can definitely hear elements of Ensiferum and Equilibrium, particularly in the non-traditional metal instruments and the harsh vocals.
The second track, Domovoi, starts with tension, there is definitely a more sinister atmosphere to this; the arrival of the Domovoi perhaps? This track feels a lot more spiritual than the first, and it certainly takes the listener to a more tense place.
The penultimate track Forefather’s Awakening seems almost tribal with the drum rhythms and atmospheric, with lots of those deep vocal chants again. It fits really well with the instrumental and brings the whole track together. The song ends with the chirping of birdsong and the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.
The last track, Daughter of the Dawn, continues this hope with birdsong, but this is soon shot down with that familiar tension and aggression we hear in Domovoi and Forefather’s Awakening. There are the group chants we have become familiar with, and there are time signature changes. At around 6 minutes in, it is like the protagonists are fighting back.
The whole EP is a brilliant four-track concept which flows into one long tale over a night in the forest, perhaps in a small wooden lodge. I can almost imagine these tracks being akin to missions in The Witcher franchise, one of my personal favourite game series. This band would be perfect to play a show such as Warhorns Festival in the UK, they fit the types of bands that play this festival perfectly. Not only does this EP have the expected pagan and folk metal, you will also hear some black metal influences. I hope to hear more from this band in the future!
House of Spirit EP: https://vanaheim.bandcamp.com/album/the-house-spirit-ep
Warhorns Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/1504041606304639/