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Embrace the Changing Seasons with Saiva’s “Markerna Bortom”


After a long, horrifically hot summer in the Midwest, the onset of autumn has finally let down its long, auburn tresses. People who enjoy black metal and folk music alike know this, much more than winter, is a special time of the year. Summer has waned, and the world sheds its green exterior in preparation for the bitter cold ahead. Brisk, earthen tones call for romantic music, sounds which dramatize falling leaves and soft beds of pine needles. To me, it’s black metal and neofolk season: a time for big atmospheres, delicate nature sounds, and cascading music which falls like rain. It’s all so melodramatic, but it’s something we all see and romanticize as a society.

Saiva‘s long-awaited full-length debut Markerna bortom acts as a love letter to the change in seasons. A. Petterson, sole musician of Saiva and proprietor of the Nordvis label, experiences these seasons in solitude from his isolated cabin in the northern reaches of Sweden. From isolation comes introspection, and from there, naturally, comes unique character. Though the crispy, tense, rock-ish atmosphere which defines this album’s more metallic elements can date back to Petterson’s tenure in Armagedda, citing his most widely influential, now near-decades-old work is misplaced.

The music found on Markerna bortom is smooth and balanced, blending rounded, whispering neofolk with nostalgic albeit lively rock and metal. Much like his previous work in Lönndom, to which Petterson alluded when this album was announced, Markerna bortom is music of duality, celebrating myths and the might of nature from a source of awe and reverence, richness and acidity, focused through this unique musician’s creative lens. Though nostalgic and continuing a style from a time past, the tense, beautiful autumn of Markerna bortom follows Petterson’s ever-maturing style, a constant practice which dates to the 1990s. Saiva’s pastoral beauty will be a lively addition to any playlist for autumns and winters to come.

Markerna bortom, which features guest performances from J. Kaarna Kettunen (Tervahäät, ex-Key), Austin Lunn (Panopticon, Seidr), and Erik Gärdefors (Grift), is out tomorrow, Friday the 13th, on Nordvis. Listen to the album in its entirety below.

From the artist:

Far to the north, beyond the noise and rule of civilization, lies a vast and untamed landscape. It’s a place untouched by time, free from the destructive influence of man. Yet, it echoes of an ancient heritage. But whisper in the wind, it still speaks stronger and clearer to those who are willing to listen. It’s a land enchanted by myths and stories about man and nature, that of cruelty and beauty and harsh duality of the wilderness. These are the stories reflected through Saiva’s stripped-down emotional expression. The debut album Markerna bortom is a unique opportunity for us to take part in a way of life that is indeed unusual in today’s society. This album isn’t just a nostalgic glimpse at a forgotten time, but a journey to a place forgotten and untraveled by most.

Follow Saiva on Bandcamp and Facebook.

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