RUNESPELL’s fifth full-length, and first as a full lineup. While last year’s Sentinels of Time mini-album spiritually concluded the first era of RUNESPELL, it’s readily apparent that that Shores of Nastrond marks a distinct second era, although one thankfully not too far removed from the iron and blood that came before. Joining founder Nightwolf here are drum titan Basilysk – whose vast resume includes the likes of Nazxul, Temple Nightside, and Pestilential Shadows among many others – and keyboardist Irrwycht, who concurrently numbers such bands as GRABUNHOLD and BAXAXAXA. Together, the trio conjure that same mystical & mesmerizing soundworld that’s made the RUNESPELL name such a force in the underground, but there’s a concerted clarity here – be it songwriting or sound, texture figuring more prominently in both – that makes the album’s six component epics hit HARD, even with the solemnity of Sentinels of Time continuing here. Indeed, that supremely epic mini-album served as a bridge between the band’s two eras: not just with said solemnity explored further on Shores of Nastrond, but also the stirring acoustic segments, which are more generously integrated into the whole of RUNESPELL’s sound. Simply put, this is pagan black metal perfection, from an entity that seemingly already perfected it. These Shores of Nastrond crest and crash with blood-fire-death!
Iron Bonehead Prod.