Earlier this year I wrote a “YER METAL IS OLDE!” article about the ongoing influence of Ulver‘s epic Bergtatt, a classic by any measure. But in some ways, it only introduced a ‘trope’ of sorts that has become one of my favorite parts of the underground metal scene: the harmonized acoustic folk record. And while Ulver only did it once, on KveldssangerOctober Falls—whom you certainly have heard of if you’re a long-time reader of Angry Metal Guy [or other blogs I guest/write for]—produced a number of excellent acoustic records in this vein. These included a full length by the name of Marras, two EPs entitled Sarastus and Tuoni, and a number of singles. These are all available as lossless files via October FallsBandCamp website and worth purchasing, if you don’t mind spending money on a digital, lossless format.

October Falls - Kaarna

Hopefully inspired by a conversation with me about making the acoustic material available, the project’s progenitor and creative center also appears to have reached out to his label for a re-release of this material in a physical format. From these diverse releases, a compilation reissue was born and it is entitled Kaarna. Made up of every release, it clocks in at 93 minutes and is a journey through all the acoustic material that October Falls produced between 2002 and 2010. But because of the nature of the music—the moody atmospheres, the mystical touches, the natural sounds and beautiful melancholy, Kaarna isn’t simply a compilation. It feels like a cohesive record—even at such a length—because the mood is strong and evocative. The tracks—really the singles, the LP, and the two EPs—each have their own flavor, but are united in a theme and style.

For me, this is perfect mood music. It’s the kind of thing I listen to early in the morning, when I’m drinking coffee and sitting in the morning sun. It’s amazing evening music, too. Nights by a fire or gazing out over a lake. It’s like a soundtrack for the deep woods, the troll forests, and overgrown paths. The feeling of being ancient, sacred and mystical permeates every note of Kaarna and makes it cohesive. While this is simple and minimalistic, there’s something that speaks very deeply to me here. As a fan of of the feel and the gorgeous harmonies, it’s tough for me not to just put Kaarna on repeat all day sometimes.

Kaarna is available from Debemur Morti’s website as a double digipack, but disappointingly not as vinyl. Still, if you’re a fan of this kind of material, you should absolutely give this a listen. I’m including a stream of Marras below. Just hit play, find a place to sit down, turn out the lights and let the magic sweep you away.

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  • By your description I just did a total impulse buy since It’s Saturday morning where I live, and it’s really great music for this moment. Great review.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      me too…tho Its not far from witching hour here, it’s icy, there’s horizontal sleet and my black cat is going berserk

  • Sounds awesome, I’ll check it out.

  • Sweet compilation! I love these guys.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    What happened to the Overkill review? It appeared then disappeared…very mysterious AMG

    • It was posted a day early by accident. It will pop back up tomorrow morning.

  • De2013

    The Plague Of A Coming Age is excellent, therefore ordered Kaarna half way through the review.

    • De2013

      Listerning to the album right now and I must say, it’s been a while since I’ve listened to an album that allows me to drift away into a serene state of mind. Epic.

  • Feytalist

    I already own all of October Falls’ acoustic records (as well as all their metal records, as well…) Yeah, this is truly some amazing atmospheric music.

    And I was introduced to it by you guys! Thanks again, AMG :D

  • Osama Bhatti

    You didn’t give this a score. That’s okay though. I’ll just let my OCD slowly but surely drive me insane as I try to quantify your review.