Ísavetur is the latest album from Swedish one woman ambient project Draugurinn. Cold, dark and minimalist, ghostly vocals and eerie soundscapes evoke atmospheres of mysterious rituals in Nordic snowstorms on a powerfully meditative release.
It’s a bleak atmosphere that’s woven by Draugurinn on Ísavetur’s five untitled pieces. On I Deep drones pulse eerily while bells ring and ghostly vocals chant, swirling among the quiet reverberating ambience from speaker to speaker, like voices rising from out of a foggy gloom. Faint percussion, a swell of volume in the chanting, and and the introduction of faint yet powerful wordless rasps collude with the cold production to invoke faint images of dark and mysterious rituals taking place against the backdrop of an inhospitable snowstorm. II has a more calm feel, the soundscapes evoked by the layers of ambient sound are meditative and beautiful, the percussion and eerie female chants not making an entrance until near the end – once again starting quiet and swelling from soft to lovely melodious Nordic singing. V is another the highlight of the release, with swells of traditional wind instruments lending a dramatic air to the dark swirls of ambient, a drama which is augmented by the introduction of powerful vocals and intensifying percussion in a piece that’s really gripping.
Ísavetur is a beautiful album of dark and ritualistic ambient, paced brilliantly with an ebb and flow between soft and meditative and powerfully stirring. It’s engaging yet very subtle and when listened to with good headphones it’s a really absorbing listen.
Find Draugurinn on facebook here. Stream and purchase below at bandcamp: