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Bhleg’s “Sunnanljus” Celebrates the Rising Sun


God Jul!

The winter solstice — the axis turning point which defines the middle of winter and the apex of the Northern hemisphere’s ever-shrinking days. As we enter the shortest day of the year, the Sun slowly returns into our lives once more. Today marks the observance of Jul, or “Yule,” the pagan midwinter celebration and the rebirth of the fiery ball of life in the endless sky.

Composed over a three-year period, solely within the confines of Heathen sun holidays like today, Bhleg’s mammoth Solarmegin is a musical homage to the Sun above. Resting at the crux between early ritual folk music and hazy, gritty folk metal, this incandescent double album is a powerful statement, Bhleg’s own Jul. Written under the sun’s rays, and only composed/recorded during celebrated days of the sun (much like today), Solarmegin is literally solar.

Using the folk metal genre tag has become a bit of a damnation in itself. Most bands who utilize the tag are plastinated, a film-inspired approximation of much more complex ethnomusicological constructs. Folk music is meant to be the music of the people, and, within that, is more than the raucous drinking songs which so suddenly define the genre’s metal counterpart.

In the Nordic sense, ancient (the academic term is actually “Early” — go figure) music is rhythmic, cracked music which celebrates the Earth and the gods which represent it. Bhleg follows a similar approach: simple and meditative, but through the ecstatic lens of black(ish) metal. This is jagged and earthen music, true to a much “Earlier” approach. This is the truest example of “folk metal,” and Bhleg makes a verbose case in their favor.

The two-disc, 98-minute Solarmegin will be released February 23rd on Nordvis. To celebrate the Midwinter/Yule Solstice, we are happy to premiere “Sunnanljus,” which you can year below. Celebrate the Rising Sun. God Jul!

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