Bergen, which is located in the heart of southwestern Norway, is widely known for producing an army of all-around great bands in the extreme metal scene – Borknagar, Enslaved, and Immortal, to name a few. Being the home of the renowned Norse sonic warriors Wardruna as well, there are almost always exciting things to look forward to in the Bergen scene. One of them is definitely the newest self-titled release by the up-and-coming psychonauts Søstre!
Having been around since 2018, Søstre –as a unit– delivers experimental black-and-roll sounds in the most impeccable and soul-crushing way possible. The musical experience that they present to the masses spans such a multitude of styles that it transcends genre-based boundaries, and they always unravel new sources of creative development and growth throughout their songwriting journey.
The self-titled album is released via Loyal Blood Records, also Bergen-based, and the label has released a number of god-tier Norwegian underground releases such as the ones coming from Bokassa, Ondt Blod, Die a Legend, and of course, Blood Command – since the label itself was founded by Blood Command guitarist Yngve Andersen! What a shocker, right? It’s almost like everyone in the Bergen underground scene is somehow interconnected.
On this album, Søstre presents a dynamic and progressive wave of psychedelic-stoner-type beat soundscape with a touch of ritualistic undertones, while also keeping the black n’ roll elements intact. They also managed to incorporate punkish elements as well, obviously accompanied by dark melodic grooves.
Exploration of the human condition becomes a recurring, ever-present theme of the songs that Søstre wrote, so of course, throughout the creative process of their songwriting, they instilled various mystical and metaphysical subjects into their songs; namely the very concepts of altered states of consciousness, black magic, and past-future dichotomy. Almost cinematic, I can mentally depict visions of a cult performing solitary dark rites or being ready to be despatched to Helheim as this album plays.
I was drop-dead spellbound and captivated at first listen (and still am), upon knowing that Søstre combines black-and-roll with psychedelic stoner elements on this album. Black n’ roll is something that I’ve always put on a pedestal big time, thanks to the mighty, super-legendary Kvelertak whom I heartily love and respect. And as for psychedelic and stoner, I just simply grew up with Sleep and Electric Wizard as a high schooler and involved myself in cannabis trips a lot back in my late teenagehood, so the whole scene, the whole culture, always remains as something I am deeply attached with to this day. That’s why when I found out that Søstre combines both, I felt like the happiest bastard alive upon discovering this self-titled album.
All in all, this self-titled album would be the kind of sounds that is most suitable for chaotic psychedelic trips as you skate through the empty streets at 3 AM and contemplate the precedent origin of our existence. It’s just as if the vibrant riffs tell you that it’s never too late to start anything chaotic that you want to do; to perform witchcraft, burn down the authoritative forces, deny our own existences like French philosophers did, shout your truths and sing your loudest hymns.
Buy the album here:
9 / 10