The Haft Khan
- 1.Khan e Aval06:04
- 2.Khan e Dovom06:13
- 3.Khan e Sevom05:24
- 4.Khan e Chaharom07:40
- 5.Khan e Panjom06:45
- 6.Khan e Sheshom07:07
- 7.Khan e Haftom06:38
Some releases are so good that you can’t remain objective, despite how hard you try. “The Haft Khan” is that kind of release. From the Vastland is a band formed by Sina in 2010 in Iran as a solo project. After one full length release in 2011, he moved in Norway in 2013 and since then he has been collaborating with other experienced musicians, transforming the solo project into a real band. Since 2013, they have released five full length albums and one EP. The album I am listening at the moment and writing about, is their latest release called as stated above, “The Haft Khan”, co-released in 30th of April 2020 by the Russian label Satanath Records and the Mexican Iron, Blood and Death Corporation in CD format limited in 500 copies. The first impression comes from the impressive cover, which is a painting of the very talented Norwegian artist Kjell Åge Meland, showing a dark and epic fight between darkness and light, the underworld and the world of the living, the evil and the good. This is exactly what you should expect by this album, a relentless, dark and epic battle.
The music style of From the Vastland is declared by the first few seconds, that is brutal, fast Black Metal in the vein of the Scandinavian legacy. The riffing is warlike, fast, with beautiful changes, it will surely remind you of the great bands of the Scandinavian scene as Marduk, Enslaved, Satyricon, some Immortal references and of course Darkthrone. Though, apart from these obvious influences, Sina is honoring his Persian heritage by adding some slight middle eastern references to the melodies and to the general atmosphere. As you can understand their music is balancing between the epic feelings and violence, it is setting up the proper scenery and atmosphere for the story to unfold. The story is inspired by the Persian epos Shahnameh written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi, you will read more information inside the booklet, and the seven tracks narrate the seven challenges passed by the greatest Persian hero Rostam. If you read the lyrics alongside listening to the music, the experience becomes complete and the forty-six minutes of the album pass very smoothly. The work that Sina did regarding structuring his compositions is also responsible for the interesting experience.
The performance of the musicians is flawless, very professional but also sentimental and passionate. The guitars have clear sound and they deliver the riffs with absolute precision and the passion needed. The bass is not audible, so I could not distinguish to its lines. However, the production has given the bass sound that the compositions need. The drums are brilliant. On one hand, their performance is powerful, accurate and stable but also very passionate both into the parts of relentless pounding and in the slower, more atmospheric ones. On the other hand, their lines are very interesting with a lot of changes and technical details which will catch your attention frequently. The vocals are harsh Black Metal vocals in the more violent parts and deeper and darker in the slower passages, giving life to the lyrics and making the story more theatrical. The mixture is balanced and combined with the dark but clean production, they contribute a lot to the overall atmosphere of the album. As mentioned above, the lyrics are contained in the six-page booklet and they are written in English.
Although From the Vastland is a band almost ten years now, The Haft Khan is the album that introduced me to the band and I have to admit that I am both excited to get to know this band but also sad because I haven’t come across their releases earlier. There is no doubt that the band and especially Sina, are very talented artists and their new album proves it. Every Black Metal fan will surely appreciate this album, so do not hesitate and grab a copy.