Looking at that cover art you should immediately think “black metal” simply because that is as dark and bleak as any other black metal album cover out there and it’s just fantastic let’s all admit it. I’ve heard more than many good things about Havukruunu’s debut album “Havulinnaan” with some people calling it “the ultimate pagan black metal album of 2015”, and after investigating the album myself I do have to say this album is indeed impressive and is an excellent piece of pagan black metal without a doubt. People normally associate pagan black with folk metal as well as plenty of times band will implement instruments like a flute or piano into the mix, but “Havulinnaan” is not one of those albums as it is almost strictly black metal and leaves the pagan part to the lyrics where they do a more than good enough job of their own. Havukruunu are no strangers to black metal either, so rest assured that this album was crafted by the minds and hands of people who hail from the kvlt nation of Finland where black metal is as rich and as common as the air itself, and if that isn’t reassuring then I don’t fucking know what is. From the very beginning, “Havulinnaan” isn’t fucking around. With raw vocals, powerful guitars, a bass that has a monstrous feel, and drums that sound like lightning strikes, Havukruunu display their skills as expert black metallers to the point where they’ve created this album without any sort of flaw being made in the final product and as a fan of black metal in general I do have to say that this isn’t as good as it gets (to me, anyway), but it is definitely above average in terms of overall quality when you take everything into account. Everything just mixes together really well from the harsh vocals to the unsettling tone of the music in general which creates a great atmosphere that fits extremely well for this genre and Havukruunu pull it off like they’ve been doing this for decades. I wouldn’t let these guys leave your radar because I think that they still got something truly great under the sleeves that they’re waiting to pull out, mark my words. “Havulinnaan” is a magnificent album, no question, but I know Havukruunu is already aiming for something bigger and better, and that’s always an encouraging thought.
LISTEN to “Havulinnaan” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Havukruunu on Facebook here.