You could be forgiven for assuming Vattnet Viskar were from Scandinavia. Not only do they play huge-sounding north-woods black metal, but their name means “the water whispers” in Swedish (at least according to Google Translate and a Swedish-English dictionary). They’re in fact from the tiny town of Plaistow, New Hampshire, population 7,609 in a 2010 census. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is from a self-titled EP that came out last week on Broken Limbs Recordings. Sprawling but never lax, “Intention/Oblivion” calls to mind the harshness and beauty of a frigid, rocky, barely populated mountain forest—no Satan required.
Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.More by Philip Montoro