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Sounds | Besvärjelsen, Clouds


Ik las 'forest rockers' en er doken begrippen als als 'episch, mytisch, donker, sompig, intrigerend, spiritualistisch, ...' in me op. Meteen ook een flits naar mijn jeugd, de 18 jaar van mijn leven opgroeiend aan de rand van een uitgestrekt bos. Ik voel dus wel het één en ander bij het nummer Clouds en de sfeer die de Zweden hier oproepen. Hun melodic doom, gekruid met ingrediënten uit porg, folk en classic rock gaat er bij mij dus vlotjes in. Leadstrot Lea Amling Alazam beschikt daarenboven over een geluid dat boeit: de ene keer wat meer emo, de andere keer wat Oosters aandoend, maar telkens met een bluesy ondertoon.


Atlas verschijnt op 27 mei 2022 via Magnetic Eye Records

Luister ook naar: Digerliden

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Besvärjelsen comment: "The lyrics are based on a poem that I wrote years ago", explains singer Lea Amling Alazam. "It dealt with surprise and a shitty relationship. When listening to the music, I knew that I wanted something bombastic, an epic piece of heartbreak music. After living in a chaotic relationship during the pandemic, I could very much relate to the poem again and just adapted it to fit with my current feelings. It turned out to be a great anti-love song, and hopefully also ends up as a big middle finger to my ex. Still, it was fun to record this song, but I will never, ever hit those endnotes live." What to do when you like rock and doom born from the desert but your surroundings offer anything but arid lands? Besvärjelsen found an impressive answer in the grim forests of their homeland in Dalarna, Sweden. Having grown up in the far north at the meeting grounds of ancient Norse and Finnish cultures amongst echoes of runes and gods, shamans and spirits, the spellbinding five-piece crafted their name from the Swedish word for "conjuring" while drawing heavy inspiration from local lore, mysticism, and the dark, old musical traditions.


Yet Besvärjelsen are anything but another "pagan" outfit longing for a time that never was. Andreas, coming from a background in punk and hardcore, had realized that by slowing things down, their music would gain in-depth while allowing haunting melodies to exist alongside a cathartic heaviness. Once vocalist Lea Amling Alazam arrived with a fiery passion for punk and stoner rock that had begun at the local skate park when she was just 13, Andreas and Staffan happily relegated their shared vocal duties to a supporting role – an easy choice as Lea's distinctive voice summoned the intimacy and charisma of singers like Nina Simone or Amy Winehouse.


Besvärjelsen released their debut EP "Villfarelser" a year later in 2015, which was followed quickly by the "Exil" EP in 2016. Around this time, former Dozer and Greenleaf drummer Erik Bäckwall joined the line-up as a permanent member. Both EPs, though self-financed and released with minimal promotion, were well-received and even gained airplay on Swedish national radio. Their debut full-length "Vallmo" hit the streets in 2018, shortly after Erik had convinced his Dozer and Greenleaf bandmate Johan Rockner to join the band on bass. "Vallmo" merged crushing riffs and storming drums with increasingly sophisticated melodies and thoughtful themes, which even earned the band a festival slot opening for Deep Purple.


With the mini-album "Frost", Besvärjelsen intended to crush stages all over Europe in 2019, before being forced into involuntary live performance hibernation for two years. Although forced to write separately, the band used the spare time to compile a wealth of ideas, amassed remotely and shared across the miles and months of relative solitude, which would finally result in the recording of "Atlas" with producer Karl Daniel Lidén in 2021. Re-purposing melancholic harmonies that could have been derived from the playbook of Alice In Chains, adding gravity that would make Windhand proud, and topping their upgraded sound with exciting yet intimate vocal lines,they have carved a towering monolith from solid rock and planted it firmly into the magical woods of their homeland to send its heavy lay-lines around the globe.


BESVÄRJELSEN are

Lea Amling Alazam – vocals

Staffan Stensland Vinrot – guitars, vocals

Andreas Baier – guitars, vocals

Erik Bäckwall – drums

Johan Rockner – bass


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