It's strange when something so tender carries such a weight. It feels unfamiliar, but still comforting. The heavy blanket of emotion envelops the listener in layers, revealing an immobilizing complexity. Höstblod operates within these two worlds of emotive expression, finding the warmth and intimacy of familiar emotion and the crushing mass of the inherent darkness found within the more despondent realms of passion.

The complex Dikter om döden, translated to "Poems About Death," straddles these two emotional dominions, but also musically finds itself in a bit of a grey area, as well. Two halves woven together, the delicate folk-and-Romantic inspired music finds itself at glorious, dynamic odds with the black metal which often follows. Listen to an exclusive full-album stream of Dikter om döden below.

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Complexity aside, sole musician Johan Nilsson's music distills to an aching longing, something from deep at the foot of the soul. The cry of violins, the soft finger-plucking of a nylon-string guitar, the actual howling of the human voice -- it all boils down to this distinct style which Nilsson built for himself on 2018's Mörkrets intåg, but with a stronger sense of metallic identity and even more drastic dynamic changes.

For such an easy, quick listen -- the 40 minutes fly by fairly quickly -- Höstblod's music offers so much substance, so much emotional depth and musical skill, that it warrants future spins. This is truly gorgeous music which is deserving of more attention.

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Dikter om döden releases August 10th on Le Narthécophore. Tapes will follow on Folkvangr Records and Winter Sky Records.
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