My favorite part of this job. Reviewing albums from bands I have never heard of. Not saying it’s a bad thing of course, I get to experience new music and some of it I genuinely enjoy very much. Now from the promo email I received they describe this band as one of the founders of Viking Metal. Two of my favorite words put together, this is going to be quite tasty. Now after using detective skills(Wikipedia), these monsters were founded in 1993 and range from folk to black metal. And this is also their first album after their reuniting in Valhalla, must of lost that bit of news in the stream. O well. Prepare yourselves young warriors, for Valhalla awaits thee.
Norron Kraft – Starts off with some atmospheric playing and drums signalling for war. The vocalist uses some distortion for the first few vocals and then chimes in with some bad ass folk instruments. The guitars are dark and gloomy and well driven. Switching up tempos from crushing to war chants, this song has you banging your head from your couch. The chorus rings with powerful guitars and chants from the table of Valhalla, yelling about vikings or something. Slow driven song with some guitar fills thrown in every now and then, but something I can definitely drink to. Taken away by the drums of war and the sounds of wind blowing, with a crushing blow thrown in. Make sure you stay to the end, you get treated to a medley of folk and mead with epic vocals behind the song.
Naglfar – Being drawn in by the sounds of crashing waves and an intensifying keyboard that sounds like a horde approaching. Crushing riffs follow in its wake with chanting and blackened vocals. The main riff is very catchy with a classic heavy metal sound to it, and the vocalist does a good job following the tempo. Containing a very powerful solo, not so much flashy, but it does its job well, making a battle cry for war! At the end we are taken away by the soothing sounds of the ocean…
Alu Alu Laukar – This song seems to be more of an attempt of an upbeat tone, driven by the drums and the guitars. Beautiful harmonizing floats around as the vocalist lets out his screeches. The chorus containing heavy riffs and chants that echo throughout the halls. The shortest song in this lineup it doesn’t let up in their intense aggression being driven by the soft and soothing drums, folk guitars, and the sounds of an anvil being smacked around.
Varden Brenne – Being drawn in by atmospheric drumming and old school heavy metal riffs, and a roar that would make a Rancor shiver. Beautiful melodic singing backing up the vicious vocalist, a medley of battle riffs, fuck man, why didn’t these guys do the soundtrack to Viking? Play this song at parties, the real ones, with bearded men drinking only the finest of beer, BUSCH. Getting treated to twin guitar solos that have the 70’s feel to it, you know, when music was real. I was there, in some past life. After the song you feel this need just to break something in the glory of what you just had listened to. Fuck.
Malmting – Drawn in by doomy riffs, before the lead breaks into anthemic playing. Wicked guitar riffing before the bass drags you into brutal vocal play. You’ll hear their black metal influences a bit in this song, which kind of puts me off, but it’s a good mixture of both. Switching up between droney headbanging to the seizing of the head. Again you’ll get that sweet taste of heavy metal with the solos. And o goodness, a majestic and beautiful outro strums out.
Balladen om Bitfrost – Leading off with a ballad feel to it, with the bass playing behind. The blackened vocals almost take away from this though. The lead breaks away to play a ballad solo behind with it breaking into an atmospheric chorus with harmonizing. Beautiful acoustic playing fills the song taking you away to the shores of Norway. After about the second chorus it rings with folk and harmonizing, before taken away at the end with acapella ending our journey…
Whoah. I’m going to have to a take a breath after that one, because I feel like I just completed an epic quest. From beginning to end songs lead into another telling a story. My favorite part of this album that it gives you a cinematic feel to it, a soundtrack almost if you will. It is a delicious smoothie mixed with atmosphere, heavy metal guitars, ballads, folk guitars, vicious vocals, and battle axes that leave you satisfied and nutritious. My other favorite part about this album are the drums, controlling the tempo and very slow that lets you lay back and relax and enjoy some good metal. Gentlemen, I salute thee. I have no idea what their previous albums sound like, but whatever it is, they still got it. Great Viking Metal, sirs. Show your friends this record, no matter what they listen to because I feel like if they don’t like it, they’ll appreciate it. Warriors, grab your swords you bought from the asian store in the mall or the Renaissance festival you went to, plug this album into your speakers, and swing at some fucking trees. Nature doesn’t need that.
9 Sins out of 10.