Hailing from Sweden comes the latest release from Ruohtta titled Uhratuille. From the raw production values to the otherworldly riffs, this EP is a masterclass in creating an immersive sonic landscape that transports the listener into ancient times with help of the Meänkieli and Sámi languages that the band uses. By embracing a more minimalist approach to black metal, the band has created a soundscape that’s both timeless and modern.
As the opening track of Uhratuille begins, it’s immediately clear that Ruohtta is taking a different approach to black metal. With a more stripped back and minimalist approach and an almost clean approach to the recording, it creates a sound that is both harsh and hard hitting, yet isn’t extremely abrasive, and at times can be rather melancholy in an almost manic way. If it wasn’t for the speed and ferocious vocals, I almost wouldn’t even put this in the ‘black metal’ category and have it stand on its own. There’s little bits of elements from many genres that help push this sound to a different level and creates for a very enjoyable experience and something I wasn’t really expecting going into this. I love the personal touch of the language that is used. Not so often does run into a band that uses its indigenous languages to create unique art. I could only imagine that the lyrics touch upon stories of the past, given the the dedication to those who’ve been sacrificed to the gods or ‘a perceived just cause or for the sake of someone else’s horrid ideas’ as the artist puts it on their page.
This certainly isn’t the band’s first release, as they’ve been around since 2012, and their first demo being released back in 2013. Their sound has definitely grown and evolved over time, but still hold many of the same qualities that appear in Uhratuille. There’s something rather iconic with the band’s twinkly yet psychedelic guitar tones screech out above the harsh blast beats and hellish vocals. There’s also a lot to take apart with this EP as well, certainly benefiting from multiple listens and can also be appreciated more if some of the previous albums were listened to before hand as well. A solid release and a must listen for those cultists of the underground.