259: SYLVAINE

Kathrine Shepard, better known as Sylvaine, is a Norwegian singer/songwriter whose blending of the ethereal and extreme makes for some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard in years.

Shepard’s vocals are delicate, and haunting. Beautiful clean melodies float gently above the delicate music, but suddenly everything shifts. Black metal strumming takes hold and that beautiful clean voice gives way to harsh screams. The pivot is thrilling and powerful, and the range demonstrated, not just vocally, but in the whole composition, is breathtaking.

I’ve seen Sylvaine labelled as blackgaze before but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. This is not a bright, shoegazey spin on black metal. This is a beautiful, dreamy, almost folk-influences, music that is far deeper, and then, when it needs to be, it’s straight up atmospheric black metal. The real deal. No fucking around.

And Sylvaine covers both ends of that spectrum masterfully.