Dark side of a Fairytale – Perchta’s Åtem

German Version: https://shieldmaidensvoice.com/2020/02/14/die-dunkle-seite-eines-marchens-perchtas-atem/

In our modern and fast world, it is all the more important to have a closer look at your roots and your own culture. The contention with old customs helps to actively preserve of those.

At this point you are probably wondering where I am trying to head with this. Let me tell you, it is something great!

On February 13th 2020, the black metal Szene grew by one promising metal project. On this day, the atmospheric black metal band Perchta, founded in 2017, released their very first single and music video.

Let’s have a look at the band’s name first:  If you, like me, are not from anywhere near the Alps, you will probably know the mystic figure of Perchta as Frau Holle. In the sagas, Perchta punishes laziness in the household and violations of the food commandment (aka the consumption of fatty food or meat at all). Perchtas punishments vary from simple nightmares to cruel death, sometimes by her deathly breath. Diligence and helpfulness are rewarded with strings of gold or bundles of linum.

Perchta walks among the people in between christmas and epiphany (January 6th) and symbolizes a time of transition, which is highlighted by her ever-changing appearance.

Ever-changing appearance is quite the metaphor for the first song of the band Perchta which is named Åtem.

The video is completely in black and white and right from the beginning the viewer or the listener is introduced to dark and mysterious alpine world, The singer’s voice shows a lot of different facets. Gentle whispering is skillfully increased to nasty-seeming scream singing, which truly sends shivers down the spine. The vocals are supported by Celtic-sounding chorals and a lyre-like instrument which I can’t really identify.

The only downside for me personally is that I am unable to understand the lyrics. The dialect is quite too heavy for me, but I rather have it this way than have the band renounce their concept and write in english or high-german.

Musically, I am convinced by very expressive drums that are enhanced by interesting tremolo guitars. It sounds as though the band combined the best elements of bands like Wardruna, Dordeduh and Summoning and put them into an mystic alpine context.

To draw a conclusion, the band presents itself as very varied in their first song and it will be interesting to see whether they will keep exploring this path in their upcoming album Ufång which will be released on April 10th. The live premiere will take place a day later during the Dark Easter Metal Meeting in Munich.

The Album is available via Pre-order here:


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