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Wudewuse — Northern Gothic
(Apollon Records ARP041, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-03-07

Northern Gothic Cover art

Wudewuse is the project of Sondre Bergersen Mæland, AKA Spacewülff of Spectral Haze (acoustic guitar, vocals, and drums), Håkon Oftung of Jordsjø, Wobbler, and Tusmørke (Hammond organ, Mellotron, Solina, bass, and langeleik), Daniel Bakken of Superlynx (electric guitar), Ole Rokseth of Gundelach (bass and Moog), and Martin Nordrum Kneppen of Wobbler and Tusmørke (drums and percussion). With this lineup and the pagan cover art I was expecting an acid folk journey through boreal forests. Despite the gothic song titles, the music was not at all what I expected. Primarily acoustic, the melancholy music did not peak my interest, and I did not sense any evidence of a gothic feel to the music. The title track is a pleasant folky instrumental. “Selene” is a beautiful tribute to the Moon and her aspects, with some resemblance to “Cadence and Cascade.” “Halvgangar” changes things up a bit as it is a prog rock instrumental inspired by the 70s Swedish and Norwegian prog folk scene. This tune starts off slow and gradually improves. “Bernard Herre” is a bucolic and playful instrumental about the author Bernard Herre who wrote a gloomy romantic depiction of the North Forest in his novella I Nordmarken in 1849. “Lucifer” comes the closest to what I was expecting and it a perfect meld of acid folk ala Stone Breath and prog rock. And the album closes with “Hvem Kan Seile Foruten Vind,” a melodic and restful acoustic song based on an old Scandinavian folk tune. So if you are looking for pagan ritualistic music with the forest denizens cavorting around a fire, you won’t find that on Northern Gothic. But if you yearn for melancholic folk-inspired acoustic music, then you may find Northern Gothic interesting.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Wudewuse

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