Kval – Kval (self-titled)

Kval - Kval [album cover]

Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records

If any style can be said to capture the zeitgeist of black metal over the past few years – in the way that the Scandinavian second wave did in the mid-90’s, or symphonic did a few years after that – it would be atmospheric black metal. And as with any (relatively) popular style of music, there are a lot of dull, uninspired records being made that aim to be atmospheric and hypnotic, but simply end up feeling dull and boring. So, it makes the discovery of a record like the self-titled album fromĀ Kval all the more special. It may be easily recognisable as the nature-inspired atmospheric black metal we all know and (possibly) love, butĀ Kval has a sense of character, strength, and aura that is all too rare.

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