HULDREKALL is another band coming from the cascadian area of the US to bring us some fine and expanding black metal music. They own a cassete label and are going to release a new full length soon. Check their music out as they wanna take you from the mundane world back to our deep nature!
Please, describe the music and the aesthetics of Huldrekall.
I would say that musically we try and combine the ferocity of second wave black metal and crust punk with the melodic fluidity and intense psychedelia of 70’s prog/kosmiche rock. We have no interest in trying to establish some made up image, we just want to make music that we feel passionate about. The name Huldrekall comes from the norwegian term for a male of the huldrefolk in Scandinavian mythology. They are a type of land spirit that are often portrayed as luring unsuspecting humans away from the world of humans and into the mountains to live among the trolls. From a Christian standpoint this is supposed to be perceived as some sort of a negative thing, humans leaving other humans to live once again in the natural “heathen” world. However i always viewed this as more of a positive thing and longed for it myself. I have always thought to view our project as a musical entity luring humans away from the modern world and back into the forests of old.
Bands have been playing black metal in the pacific northwest for a long time now, much longer then any of us in the band have been hanging around. However the so called “Cascadian Black Metal” scene as it appears today probably got started around the turn of the millennium. I first started going to black metal shows up here around 2003 and started my first BM band, Scourge, in 2004. After that project ended i started a new band called Toketsu (including Clay from Huldrekall on bass). We recorded a demo in 2005 and then tried to record a 2nd in 06′ but broke up in the process. In 08′ me and Taylor from Toketsu hooked up again and started a new band called Wake. It was around this time that I started to come into contact with some of the different groups associated with the scene up here. Wake played shows in WA and OR, recorded a cd-r demo and a split cassette with Skagos, before calling it quits in mid 2010. Shortly after that Clay and I began working on the material that would turn into Huldrekall.
Is there actually a scene of cascadian bands or is it more like another label made up by journalists? What local underground bands would you recommend?
I definitely think that to begin with the term cascadian black metal was first coined and embraced by local and underground bands, and used to describe music from our particular region with some general consistencies in ideological subject matter. There are shows and a scene up here to some extent but a lot is just fairly separate groups doing their own things. Occasionally there will be big convergences of bands for fests and what not, but most smaller shows will rarely have more than 50 people show up.
Probably the tightest that i felt the scene up here was would be sometime around 09′-11′ when there were a lot of shows and small tours from tons of good projects around the region. I remember lot of cool acoustic shows in great locations, and a lot of shows with a solid mix of metal, ambient and folk bands. There are still shows going on and bands and projects come and go. Some of my particular favorites from around the region: Waldteufel, Mania, L’Acephale, Hail, Alda, Boreal, Leech and Novemthree.
One thing that catches me on this particular style is the importance of melodies and harmony (which your band does pretty well), that’s clearly inspired by some of the second wave of black metal bands in Norway. However, today, I think there’s a big distinction from the so called USBM bands and the European ones. How do you see this difference and how it reflects on your music?
Its tough to say, we are undoubtedly influenced by the punk and metal scene in the US but a majority of the bands that we listen to are from Europe. I feel like this has caused our sound to evolve on a slightly different path then a lot of other USBM bands. In most areas of Europe there is lot of old architecture that i think ends up adding to a more regal feeling to a lot of european bands that isn’t as present in bands here in the US. Here in the northwest we at least have the luck of living amongst and being inspired by the ancient trees and mountains that still linger around us.
You also run a tape label, right? The Einsamkeit Tapes. Why did you started that? Do you only release cassettes? Who is on your roster today?
I started Einsamkeit in 2009 as an avenue for archiving material by projects of mine and other like minded groups in the cascadian underground. So far I have released only tapes officially, but have done some short run cd-r’s as well. I really just wanted a way to release music in a physical format that would be stylistically legit but also affordable to all people. Eventually i will probably make the leap to making vinyl as well but am currently far too broke to consider it seriously. I enjoy collecting LPs but personally can’t afford to shell out $30 for every new album i want to listen to, so i prefer collecting and putting out tapes in stead.
So far I have done releases for Twilight Falls, Vradiazei, BlackMold, Mania, Mercury, L’Acephale, Wake and Aurora Bridge but the only bands that I would consider on the Einsamkeit roster would be Huldrekall and Cavernous Womb.
Many bands (or projects) in the undeground black metal realm are studio oriented bands. Your promo pictures show clearly that you’re a live band. Do you gig a lot? Which places have you played already and with who? Any tours in the horizon?
I would say that Huldrekall gigs on average about 5-10 times a year. So far we have played a lot of houses/venues in Seattle and Olympia and have gone down to Oregon to play in Salem twice, once for Eternal Warfare Fest and the other at Burial Grounds, and outside Eugene once for Caneaus Aurus fest. Some bands that we have enjoyed playing with in particular would be L’Acephale, Barghest, Hail and our close friends and often show mates Alda and Mania. We don’t have any official dates planned to tour yet but are hoping to tour down the west coast later this spring/summer and if we can get our shit together we would like to go over to Europe next year as well.
You’re recording your first full length now, could you tell us more about that?
Were recording with Nate from Mania/Eternal Warfare. We did the first phase of recording in the practice space at my house and will be finishing the rest of the recording during february at Nate’s practice space in Seattle. The album is still unnamed but is a sleep themed concept album about dissatisfaction with the modern world and the leaving there of. I feel that the new material will surpass all of our previous output. Ill be releasing the new full length cassette on Einsamkeit hopefully by april or may.
Thanks for the interview, you can say whatever you want. Cheers!
Any labels interested in putting out the new album on vinyl or distroing tapes get in touch! Also if anyone is wanting to help set up a show on our west coast tour get in touch as well! Thanks a lot to Mondo Satania, Valeu!
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