Hwaino (Norway) - ‘At The Darkening of Their Heavens’ (from the album ‘We Lost Another Moon’)
With the light mornings and nights, the smell of Spring and barbecues, and maybe the glimpse of gigs on the horizon, perhaps things are looking brighter in the UK at least. Not so much in the world of Bergen post rock / black metal artist Hwaino, as his new track ‘At The Darkening of Their Heavens’ will have you reaching for your Chuckle Brothers boxed sets in an attempt to lighten the mood.
I say that, but actually it’s the story behind the track which is dark rather than the music itself, based as it is around the book Hwaino has written called "Shores of Whytehaven". The short synopsis is that lead character Graham is in a fishing village with 9 people who have no recollection of how they got there, all they know is that they have to catch 7 Palefish every day, and that every now and then mist rolls in and someone disappears. Craving answers good old Graham sets sail and comes across the mysterious Sleeper Collective, who give him the less than promising sounding option of passing through The Wall of Sleep.
I can’t think of too many comparisons, but maybe I understand a little of the desperate situation having once been to Grimsby - although in fairness I just got in my car and drove away, and didn't have to visit any strange 'collectives' to do so.
Musically for sure this is heaped in melancholy, but the combination of the post rock styled guitar refrains and blissful layered violins create an absorbing powerful sound, and actually the only regret is that even at almost 6 minutes it feels a little short, I want to hear more development of that violin theme at the end. But it’s an impressive track and it struck me that way on the very 1st listen.
Oh yes, there’s also some death growling, which won’t be everyone’s thing, but in the context of the song doesn’t seem too out of place. You won’t be able to hear the lyrics he growls of course, so here they are:
“It's been years and years
Since last I saw the sun
And the moon broke apart upon a pale horizon
What little light has been gifted from above
Since only served to fuel my hunger
For answers, for the hundreds of names
All taken by the mists
Now set sail, to go beyond the wall of sleep
At the darkening of their heavens”.
Quite poetic I think. I’m interested in reading the book, but it’s not exactly a cheery thing to read in the midst of pandemic times, so will stick with my Growing Vegetables handbook instead for now.
‘At The Darkening of Their Heavens’ is to be found on Hwaino’s new album ‘We Lost Another Moon’.
Find him on Instagram.