The ‘voices in the sky’ are calling, and they’re calling for you to take good notice of one of the best metal releases of the year. Melodic death metallers BRYMIR released their brand new record, Voices In The Sky, at the end of August, their first proper full-length since joining the all-star Napalm Records roster of artists. Featuring lead guitarist Joona Björkroth, formerly of Battle Beast, frontman Viktor Storm Gullichsen, guitarist Sean Haslam, bassist Jarkko Niemi, and drummer Patrik Fält, previously of Feastem and Afgrund, the band has taken their distinctive take on melodic death metal to another level with this new release.
Reminiscent of Ensiferum, Wintersun, or Children of Bodom, the album features some big-time production, deep and memorable grooves, and some very technically proficient instrumentation. The record also features a good dose of folk metal and cinematic soundscapes, a reminder of the sound that they used to distinguish themselves on their 2011 debut, Breathe Fire to the Sun.
To help commemorate the recent release of Voices In The Sky, BRYMIR lead singer Viktor Storm Gullichsen joins us today for a Stereo Six, in which he outlines six essential albums that were inspirational to him in the writing and recording of this dazzling new record.
1. Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (2001, Nuclear Blast Records)
“For many of the band members, this album was the catalyst that originally ignited our passion for dark, fast, yet epic metal. Especially for me, this was the album that got me hooked on extreme metal in the first place. At the age of 11 years old, I was an aspiring drummer, and I asked my father if there is anything faster than Metallica. He didn’t know, so he brought me to a record store, and the clerk gave me this record – it completely blew my mind out, and it set me on the musical path I’m still following to this day.”
2. Finntroll – Jaktens Tid (2001, Spinefarm Records)
“The same fateful trip to the record shop also gave me this record that gave me my first taste of folk metal. Finntroll was a very inspiring band for me as they sing in Swedish, my mother tongue. The Swedish-speaking community in Finland has traditionally been associated with being very civilized and gentle, and as a rebellious, rock-oriented kid, I felt ashamed of that assumption.
“I really was struck by hearing my language blasted on top of the wild, fast music I was falling in love with. This, combined with the strong fantasy and folklore themes, gave my young identity a strong sense of validation. I am a Swedish-speaking Finnish boy, a fantasy nerd, and I can also have a shot at becoming a metal musician.”
3. Wintersun – Wintersun (2004, Nuclear Blast Records)
“This album packs so much emotion, and it presents a perfect marriage between beautiful melancholy and technical prowess. The musicians in Wintersun were our some of greatest idols as teenagers, and especially our guitarists have been greatly influenced by them.”
4. Moonsorrow – Kivenkantaja (2003, Spinefarm Records)
“I remember once coming home on a normal day just to get some stuff before heading back out, and I put on some Moonsorrow while I pack. Before I knew it, I just sat there with tears in my eyes as the beauty of the melodies in ‘Jumalten Kaupunki’ washed over me. At this point, I’d been listening to this record for ten years, but it still got me weak, and it gets me today.
“I’m quite a hyperactive guy when it comes to listening to music, but Moonsorrow is one of the few bands that can keep me sitting down and listening to an album from start to finish. Moonsorrow taught me patience while writing songs. It’s quite a feat to keep the listener engaged for ten minutes while waiting for the best part!”
5. Decapitated – Anticult (2017, Nuclear Blast Records)
“Most of the albums listed above are very melodic and pretty marinated in synthesizers. We have, however, always been equally big fans of straightforward, brutal metal, and this album reminded me of the power of guitar chugging. This one has been on repeat for a couple of years and has had an impact on my style of writing. Our new album Voices In The Sky is much more rhythm guitar oriented than our previous records, and Anticult is partly to thank for this evolution. Kill The Cult!”
6. Curveball: Hutti Heita – Hutti Heita (2015, Yggdrasil Records)
“Besides metal, I’m a fan and producer of psychedelic trance. I got interested in this genre in my late teens and fell in love with it as it packs the same relentless energy that can be found in metal. Darker psychedelic trance also rebels against conventional music that is always based around melodic elements. Here you can just lose yourself in abstract soundscapes and explore a realm where rhythmic weirdness rules supreme and chords can go fuck themselves.
Hutti Heita is one of Scandinavia’s coolest artists within the space. Norway is home to much more than just black metal!”