Underground Sounds: Mistwalker – Terra Nova

Label: Viridian Records
Band: Mistwalker
Origin: Canada

Isolation has always been a great source of music. And this definitely captures that. Mistwalker is one of the many projects from Greg Sweetapple. The  Canadian region of Newfoundland is one of the main inspiration for this record, which is the second full length by Sweetapple under this moniker, titled ‘Terra Nova’. A reference to the history of his region.

In total, he has released 8 full-length records, most on the regional collective label Viridian records. Musically, this project has been greatly inspired by the remote region of origin. That in itself makes this an interesting creative outlet to listen to!

The music of Mistwalker has a versatility with one binding factor, which is the melancholic overtones in the sound. In the introducing Juniper Lament’, I find similarities with the meandering, depressive pop songs of the ’90’s lo-fi scene, where the second track goes to a different place. ‘Terra Nova’ has a blistering guitar sound, metallic and cold, like the northern sea. From this point on, the sound reminds me of Glittertind in their primitive early days. A sense of the grand, captured in the clean vocals, and powerful arches. The guttural vocal part is particularly grim and venomous, leaning to the Bathory sound.

With a song like ‘Bloody Bay Massacre’, Mistwalker demonstrates the uncanny daring to touch upon topics, obscured by history. The doomy song tells of the Beothuk people, native to Newfoundland, who have been extinct for almost two centuries now. A song that is as a witness of a people, no longer able to accuse. It’s just one example of the local influences that fill the album and define its sound.
At times, the music is truly gritty and sounds like the unpleasant climate you might face in the realms like Newfoundland. A grey sound, with a feeling of desolate remoteness. All that is well captured in the sound of Mistwalker.
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