The time has come to unveil “Befruktad jord” (‘Nourished Soil’) – the second single of Bhleg’s upcoming album, “Fäghring” which is due for release on April 1.
The fourth and closing instalment of Bhleg’s compositional tetralogy “Ár” is a concept album about springtime. As such, it is permeated by a considerably warmer ambiance than the colder and more barren feeling of its predecessor: their winter opus “Ödhin” from 2021. Besides the traditional rock instrumentation, this song features hurdy-gurdy and hand drum – performed by the band’s multi-instrumentalist S. – as well as nyckelharpa courtesy of J. Ask.
The band commented:
Sun-ray to surface, sperm to egg, seed to soil – all aspects of the dance of life in its many forms. Primal, earthly, and spiritual. The relentless lust for rejuvenation driving the spring to cleanse the topsoil from the white vestment of winter; the act which guarantees the birth of generations to come. Just like on “Kraftsång till Sunna” from “Solarmegin” (2018), we have the honour of featuring our good friend A. Pettersson (Saiva) on guest vocals.
After the blackest night comes the most radiant dawn; the spark of life illuminates all that which was swallowed by shadows. “Fäghring” (Florescence) bears the gift of rebirth – both in nature and for Swedish folk metal band Bhleg. The fourth and closing part of the album tetralogy “Ár” is the most ambitious Bhleg recording to date. Its metal parts are saturated with both primal ferocity and majestic atmosphere. The ambient interludes from their early works are still here, but now conveyed mostly through analogue recordings.
The sweeping, dreamy soundscapes are enhanced by a slew of unorthodox instruments, courtesy of S – who performs not only guitars and bass, but also lyre, hurdy-gurdy, mouth harp, keyboards, bullroarer, birch trumpet, as well as percussion such as frame drums, birch sticks, and stones. Besides the characteristic voice of Bhleg vocalist and lyricist L, “Fäghring” features various guest appearances with a range of singing styles rooted in Scandinavian folk-tradition such as Andreas Pettersson from Saiva, Êlea of Noêta, and Swedish author Lars Magnar Enoksen.
“Fäghring” will be released by Nordvis on April 1, 2022. Tracked and mixed using the band’s own recording setup, Studio Asu. Mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studios. Both the CD and LP booklets have received a lot of attention, consisting entirely of custom photography as well as illustrations and calligraphy by T. Väänänen.
Bhleg, a Proto-Indo-European word for “to shine”, is an expression of life – its inherent essence and origin. It is also a musical manifestation of the long-running camaraderie between the involved musicians, S and L. The two met at age thirteen and soon found common ground in their mutual obsession for spirituality, nature worship, and folklore. That bond tightened further when the two realised they were born on the same day of the same year. Ever since, they’ve been virtually inseparable.
While recording their debut album, “Draumr Ást”, S and L had a shared experience of altered states of consciousness during which they envisioned “Ár”: an artistic interpretation of the four seasons. “Solarmegin” (2018) was a conceptual album about summer, explored from the perspective of Nordic animistic belief. “Äril” (2019) and its hymns to the fall depicts the natural decay brought about by autumnal darkness. “Ödhin” (2021) was composed in the dead of winter to accurately capture the icy stillness of lifeless surroundings. “Fäghring” brings this circle to a close, ending the tetralogy.
From death springs life – stronger, wiser, and alive. “Fäghring”, our homage to the glorious spring, signifies the part of the natural process where life is reborn. The album is dedicated to life and its triumphs over death; it is the fourth and last album in this cycle.
1 – Vårdträdet (The Warden Tree)
2 – Grönskande gryning (Verdant Dawn)
3 – Alyr i blom (Alyr in Bloom)
4 – Befruktad jord (Nourished Soil)
5 – Solvigd (Solar Wedlock)
6 – Frö (Seed)
7 – Fagna sumrí (Celebration of Summer)
Release date: April 1, 2022
Formats: CD, Digital, LP