Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Hammer Of The Sky - Aarni

Aarni is a masterful ambient pagan olk project that fits nicely in the world of 'metal adjacent' releases. It's a heavy record to be sure, and the way it borrows from kalevala will be familiar to fans of the nations broad folk metal scene. This all being said, Hammer Of The sky have crafted something truly special here that you can get lost in. A veritable sonic feast in a time of plague. It's a masterful offering and one that I could see myself coming back too, simply to bask in the gorgeous sonic landscapes.

There is a breadth to the compositions on Aarni that serves to make this quite the auditory journey. The tracks are often subdued, relying on big droning vocals and understated arrangements. While this might sound simplistic, it actually makes for some truly compelling stuff. The record eagerly outlines gorgeous worlds of sound that come together and then gently fall apart. It's an interesting experience and one that I think really rewards multiple listens. It's rare to find a band with such a clear overarching vision, but the simple poetry of Hammer Of The Sky inspires pagan explorations and devastating sorrow.

The record is short, a mere four songs, but it hints at a whole lot more to come from the ban. Aarni is potent in its simplicity and frequently encourages the listener to delve deeper into what it's all about. This is an album that begs introspection and which will drive us ever closer to the brink. It's hard not to fall in love with what the band has done here and this unique brand of neofolk is the sort of thing that might just get us through the global disaster we're all trying to make it through one piece at a time.

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