VATHR is a new band, but also an old one. True, it is a new formation hailing from Bergen, Norway, but the members behind the band hold a fiery past forged in the ancient days of the notorious early ’90s scene. But rather than namedrop and create perhaps-unrealistic expectations – much less rely on past laurels, for that matter – the members of Vathr instead want to burn down the past and build a better, more monolithic future.
Indeed, they accomplish exactly that with the short & sweet mini-album Dead & United. At three songs across 20 minutes, Vathr map out a soundworld parallel to Bathory’s immortal Blood Fire Death, but teasingly reveal provocative new paths splintering off it. With a stellar mix & mastering courtesy of C. Korsvold at Cloud City Studios, Bergen, Dead & United swirls and stomps with a seductive atmosphere, stoic and heroic at every turn but never rushed nor never belabored. It moves the way it moves, how it wants to, enveloping the listener in an invigorating iciness truly steeped in the tundra of ancient Norway. Vathr may sound familiar, but only because their black metal authentically hails from the darkest past.
To restate the obvious, Vathr awaken the ancient spirit with this first step into the fire. For fans of Blood Fire Death-era Bathory and early Nordic black metal – and this is but a foretaste of the band’s even-grander debut album forthcoming from Edged Circle Productions!
"The Norwegians VATHR are an example of this and without a doubt are one of those new and unknown bands that in a short time you will hear a lot about and will definitely be forced to know; my advice is that you go for it now because the band’s first release, the mini album “Dead & United”, is already on my list of the best of the year and it’s definitely the biggest revelation of 2022 for me."
"Pure passionate worship of old Norwegian black metal. (...) This is one of my highlights in the black metal genre in 2022. (...) Do I have any point of criticism? Yes! 20 minutes is too short, much too short!! Because of this and because the full-length might have the potential to top this awesome piece of music I subtract a half point."
"‘Dead & United’ is a fabulous debut offering from a man with incredible Black Metal pedigree. This is for fans of Primordial I’d say, but with a larger, more extravagant sound."