In late February, a sudden conflagration burst forth in Northern Sweden. That raging fire was the release of “The Funeral Pyre“, and it still burns hot and true. Kvaen is a new one-man project, with several guest musicians, that comes out of the gates full of vigor. Rooted in Swedish black metal, with speed and viking metal liberally sprinkled throughout, Kvaen is a force to be reckoned with. The riffing manages to combine white hot aggression with blistering melody, while the drumming is a runaway train set to explode. The vocals channel the hatred of trve black metal, while still providing a varied performance. With good reason, “The Funeral Pyre” has been mentioned in early Album of the Year discussions. Catch the spark!