When you think you have heard it all, something comes along and surprises you completely. These unusual experiences can either leave you reluctant or eager to find out more. In the case of Siberian Hard Folk/Shamanic group NYTT LAND, it was definitely eager to find out more. Through their latest album CVLT and short film about them, they have left me feeling completely mesmerised. The band worked hard for two years to create CVLT and judging from the sounds on this release, their hard work has paid off.

When the album starts off with Valhalla Rising, the shaman-like chants and the authentic instruments piqued my interests instantly. You also get the first taste of Natalya Pahalenko’s haunting vocal work, it has a dominant presence and requires your undivided attention.

When there are lots of elements in songs, it can go either way. It can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed because the track becomes difficult to listen to. On the other hand, it can leave you feeling intrigued and curious. You want to find out what comes next as these elements are carefully placed. In CVLT, the numerous elements work in NYTT LAND’s favour. From the throat singing and haunting vocals to the flutes and taglharpa, all of these fuse together to create a spiritual experience.

The start of Ar Hotan Imi is unusual, to the point where you don’t know what’s going on. Yet you can’t help but want to listen and find out more. The song has some moments of silence before they lead onto the next part of the track. These moments of silence are the right length, enough time to let you wonder what’s to come next. I won’t reveal too much here in case you haven’t heard the album yet but what I can say is expect some uncommon twists and turns.

Pusel ov Aki’s Song is calming. This is the song that will allow the listener to reflect and think about things. At the same time, this track requires your full attention. The best way to listen to this track is to close your eyes and allow yourself to immerse into the music. The instrument arrangements and Natalya’s haunting vocal work will help you on this journey.

The beginning of Niðavellir reminds me of being in the woods and wolves are in the vicinity ready to attack. After this atmospheric opening, you are treated to some very intriguing sounds. Ever wanted to find out what the love child of THE HU and RAMMSTEIN sounds like? In this track, you can find out what that might sound like.

It ends on a spiritual note with the track Song Of The Goddess Keeper. This song gives you one last taste of what NYTT LAND have to offer before closing the album.

These sounds that NYTT LAND produce are unusual, it’s hard to pinpoint what genre of music they would fit under. They wouldn’t be out of place at a folk music festival or a heavy metal festival, I can imagine they are the band that wouldn’t be out of place at say Warhorns Festival or HRH Vikings.

Their intriguing sounds will be sure to draw some fans in along the way. CVLT isn’t just an album, it’s a spiritual experience that should be embraced to the fullest.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

CVLT is out now.

Find NYTT LAND on Facebook.

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