This is pagan black metal that takes elements of Viking and folk metal into its blackened embrace. Hearty and full of obvious passion, this is an enjoyable listen for anyone that likes underground black metal with a medieval flavour.
This is rhythmic black metal with occasional softer, folky sections that include acoustic guitars, flute, etc. These interludes enhance the overall mood of the album with some additional depth, and complement the band’s main mode of attack well.
The band frequently set a good galloping pace with their music and make some quite exceptional use of melodies. Some of these melodies really are pretty damn good, it must be said, and are usually instantly catchy and memorable. They successfully evoke a sort of emotive grandeur that manages to transport you back to frozen, older eras, while simultaneously getting the head banging to some ripping black metal tunes. All of the components of the music on this release are well-written and strongly-delivered, but I have to once again focus on the band’s use of melodies, as these are quite striking a lot of the time.
There is more than that here, of course. Aside from the melodies the rest of the music is as frozen and wind-swept as the cover might lead you to believe, but with a heroic vibe rather than a purely hateful or nihilistic one.
The vocals are, in some ways, unaffected by the rest of the music in the sense that they’re just brutal and harsh, and not interested in invoking heroic, epic, or folk atmospheres like the music is. The singer goes for the throat quite viciously with his growls and screams, and to be honest I wouldn’t want it any other way. Clean vocals also appear scarcely, and these are well-performed too.
The overall effect of all of the above is an album of raw, second wave influences that are mixed together with a medieval vibe and some powerful melodies to create a very enjoyable listen.