On their debut record, Disir, Toronto-based folk and doom metal band Völur explored the idea of the feminine divine via long, pulsing ambient tracks. Taking their name from the "wand-carriers" of ancient Norse culture and mythology (a class of highly respected sorceresses often called on for counsel), their first full-length effort was a moving, thoughtful exploration of how women's spiritual energy and influence within that culture could be distilled into sound.
On their latest release, Ancestors, Völur turn their attention to the masculine equivalent, exploring a different narrative tone and texture. Looking to ancient sagas for inspiration and source material, this is an example of exceptional storytelling in sound. Völur are unusual in that they are not a guitar-driven project; Laura C. Bates violin occupies the aesthetic and narrative lead position, supported by Lucas Gadke's (Blood Ceremony) powerful, expressive bass and punctuated brilliantly by Jimmy Payment's (Do Make Say Think) drums.
There is a distinct element of conjuring to the song structures, each building like an invocation, steadily gaining strength. Each of the four song titles on the record begins with the word "Breaker" (of Silence, Skulls, Oaths and Famine, respectively), which give an accurate sense of the surprising, inexorable power here. Völur take a lot of risks that pay off shockingly well, and with Ancestors, they have unquestionably cemented their identity as one of the most exciting young doom acts on the rise. (Prophecy)