Archive for Viking Metal

Tyr unveil video for The Lay Of Our Love featuring Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Faroese Jarls of Viking metal Týr have unveiled the video for The Lay Of Our Love, which features Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes. The song is taken from Týr’s latest musical edda Valkyrja, which was released via Metal Blade Records and is the band’s follow-up to their 2011 release The Lay Of Thrym. The clip was produced by Stanimir Lukic, directed by Ivan Colic, and can be seen below.

Tyr online:

http://tyr.fo

http://facebook.com/tyrband

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Leaves’ Eyes Cardiff show venue change

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 4th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-Germanic symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes, who are fronted by Liv Kristine, are hitting the UK later this month for a tour with Atrocity and Pythia, in support of their latest – and darkest – masterpiece Symphonies of the Night.

Following the recent closure of Bogiez in Cardiff, Leaves’ Eyes will now be playing The Globe, Cardiff on 15th January. Further information can be found here. Full UK tour dates are as follow:

15th January   CARDIFF – The Globe
16th January   NOTTINGHAM – Basement
17th January   MANCHESTER – Sound Control
18th January   BIRMINGHAM – Temple
19th January   LONDON – Garage

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

King Of Asgard start recording third studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 3rd January 2014 by Nico Davidson

King Of Asgard will return to Sonic Train Studio in March this year, having outlived and conquered the three winters of Fi’mbulvintr as well as paying tribute to to their ancestors and their proud past with …To North.

Now, for the third time around, King Of Asgard return to Andy LaRocque‘s Sonic Train Studios to carve the runes of the forthcoming, yet untitled album. In this very moment the last touches are being done on the songs and focus is set to surpass the two former releases which is substantially already met.

The third album is regarded by the band as a new chapter in their career. Frontman Karl Beckman comments:

The epic/melodic song writing of the first two albums is enhanced with monophonic warlike hymns and fierce riffage that hint on the various band members past projects. Somewhat darker in its approach, creating atmospheres not alien to King of Asgard, but still something not heard on the previous two albums. All the King of Asgard-significative elements are represented yet carrying a somewhat new execution.

King Of Asgard online:

http://kingofasgard.com
http://facebook.com/kingofasgard

Týr – Valkyrja

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Týr
Valkyrja
Released 17th September
Viking Metal
Released via Metal Blade

Hailing from the Faroes come Týr, one of the the biggest and most influential Viking metal bands of today. Following their jump from Napalm Records to Metal Blade, the four piece soon would finish Valkyrja, the band’s seventh full-length studio album. The album’s main concept is the story of an unnamed warrior who leaves his wife in order to impress a Valkyrie so that he can gain entry to either Folkvang or Valhalla.

Blood Of Heroes opens up the album in a truly powerful manner. The opening passage signals a change of sound in Týr‘s music whereas the chorus is typically catchy, something that has become a trait in Tyr‘s music over the last couple of releases. Mare Of My Night follows, which Heri describes as being the song that he has ever written the most sexually explicit lyrics for. The song focuses on a strong driving sound with an equal measure of melody to accompany the propulsive riffs. Hel Hath No Fury, which is a brilliant play on words regarding the supposed Nordic goddess of death Hel, has a cold and furious streak woven into the guitars and a hook in the chorus.

The Lay Of Our Love begins with the typical elements of a ballad, something which is enforced by both Heri‘s and Liv Kristine‘s vocals. The guitars paint a near-romantic image with different shades of emotion contrasting with the vocals where as Nation  is the complete opposite, charging in for a frontal assault of melodious passages and aggressive vocals with reinforcements from a heavy bombardment of drums. Another Fallen Brother focuses on a more thrash-like use of guitars, with near-power metalesque vocals and a cumbersome use of bass and drums.

Grindavísan starts with a folk-like choir before the majestic riffs domineer the song. As the song becomes heavier, so do Heri‘s vocals while the folk choir make an appearance for the chorus, adding a new spin on the song and keeping it traditionally Týr sounding. Into The Sky makes for a somber metallic dirge before leading into the highly melodic and medieval sounding Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð, which is sung in a Nordic language, presumably Faroese. Lady Of The Slain, which is one of the names given to the deity Freya, comes racing in like a horde of warriors drunk on blood and glory. The guitars cut through the track like a knife through butter, allowing for the bass and drums to leave their own path of devastation.

The title track, Valkyrja, has one of the most solemn introductions on the whole album, allowing varying levels of emotion to ring out through each note. Where the faster paced aspects of the track bring a vast amount of power with them, allowing the snarling use of riffs to roar fiercely throughout the song. The album ends with two covers: Where Eagles Dare (Iron Maiden) and Cemetery Gates (Pantera) – Both of which are performed superbly with Týr‘s own unique twist on them.

Valkyrja is a change in direction for Týr, stepping forward with their sound but allowing for some room for certain sound sand elements from previous albums, making for a fusion of old Týr and new TýrValkyrja is probably the best album they’ve released thus far and definitely shows how much their sound has evolved since How Far To Asgaard.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Týr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Týr release new single titled Mare Of My Night

Posted in News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 13th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Valkyrja; the seventh studio album from Faroese Viking metal legends Týr will be released next month (16th September – UK release date). Having already released the album’s opening track, Týr have released their second single from the album; Mare Of My Night. The song is being streamed exclusively via MetalInsider.net. Frontman, guitarist and vocalist, Heri Joesen, had the following to say about Mare Of My Night:

Mare Of My Night was by far the most difficult song on the album to write, music wise. What I usually do is work on a basic idea, a melody with a chord progression. I make variations over the basic idea and then I pick out the best variations for the respective parts of the song, verse, chorus etc. For this one I had more variations than ever before and I made more versions of this song that I’ve ever done before, so it was very difficult to choose. I’m still not sure I made the best possible song, which is not a satisfying feeling at all. But there you have it.

As for the text, once I went to work on it, it was written in a day or two, in the evenings during studio time. I had the title and the story line long in advance. It’s based on the mare from folklore, the human-like creature that lies on top of you, riding you, causing bad dreams. As in nightmare, riding like a mare etc. Our anonymous viking, the protagonist of the story, finds in this song that his earthly woman has gone from being a goddess to being nightmare. It is also the most sexually explicit piece of lyric I have written so far.

Valkyrja is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death. One can say the album is also indirectly about women and how they affect men and what men will do to impress and obtain women. Front man and founder Heri Joensen goes on to explain:

The woman that the warrior leaves may represent the earthly women. Freyja, The Lady Of The Slain, may represent the perfection of Women, and the Valkyrie is the link between the two, taking men from earthly to godly women.

Tyr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
http://www.facebook.com/tyrband

Interview with Erik Grawsiö (Månegarm)

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 4th July 2013 by izaforestspirit

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The Swedish Viking black metal group Månegarm is one of the most unique and diverse bands in the scene. Iza caught up with their singer Erik Grawsiö to discuss the new album Legions of the North, Viking mythology, line-up changes and movie soundtracks.

Iza: Hi Erik!

Erik Grawsiö: Hello!

I: I’ve read that Månegarm refers to a wolf in Norse mythology that swallows the moon at Ragnarok. Could you explain why you chose that particular name and what it means to you as a band?

E: Yes, that’s right! We had another name when we first started up the band but after only 1-2 months we changed to Månegarm. Jonas was the one who found it and we all thought that it was a better name for the band (than the earlier name) especially since we sang in Swedish about the Norse mythology. The wolf for me is a powerful animal that stands for strength, pride and wisdom. “ It’s better to live one day as a WOLF (originally: lion) than a thousand years as a lamb”.

I: Your music is an interesting mix of styles ranging from black metal, Viking metal with some folk and pagan influences. Which of these styles would you say represents Månegarm‘s music the best?

E: I don’t know really… When people ask I usually just say that we play “metal” or Rock n’ roll. We’re definitely more of a metal band than a folk band but I think that Månegarm‘s music is represented by all of these styles that you mentioned. The diversity and mixture is the strength of Månegarm I think.


I
: What are your thoughts on the tag ‘Viking metal’? Does the genre exist in your opinion? Should it exist?

E: We don’t care much for tags and labels at all. When we started playing this kind of “metal” there were no Viking or pagan or Viking/folk metal; it was just us and a couple of other bands that played the kind of music that we enjoyed playing. This is no problem for us though and if these tags/labels help people get a better picture of a band or categorizing bands, then it is fine by me. The problem nowadays is maybe that there are like thousands of sub-genres/labels and that just makes it all confusing. Let’s put it this way; people can call our music what the f**k they want as long as they like it!!

I: Are there any bands in the Swedish metal scene that interest you? If so, which ones and why?

E: No.

I: Let’s talk a bit about the new album Legions of The North. Was there any specific inspiration for this album or any particular themes that you wanted to portray?

E: No, there is no stated concept or theme that runs through the album but if I remember correctly we first had the idea of a theme which was pretty much “death” from different points of view. Even if we didn’t follow that path totally it maybe stayed in our minds on a both conscious and an unconscious level, because almost all songs came to deal with war and death in different ways, influenced by the Nordic mythology. photo Erik_zpse9c17607.jpg

I: Some of the instrumental tracks on there such as Vigverk sound like old folk songs? What are they based on?

E: Vigverk is a short instrumental piece that can be seen as an intro to the following song Sons of War. The name Vigverk comes from Eddan and can be translated into something like “great deeds” or “great achievement” in English. It is no traditional old folk song; it’s just a song that I wrote since I wanted to have some shorter acoustic tracks on the album.

I: Legions of the North is your 7th album. How do you think it compares to its predecessors, particularly the last one Nattväsen?

E: I think it sort of continues on the same path as Nattväsen but we have worked more on the arrangements and the structure of the songs and especially we have put a lot of effort on the refrains on this album. On the earlier albums (like the first 1-2 albums) our “composing strategy” was to sit down with the guitars, put a bunch of riffs together in a descent way and yep… We had a song!! That’s maybe quite charming and cool in a way but today I think that we “think” music in a better and more serious way and we try to compose “real” songs!

I: Your violin player Janne Liljekvist left the band last year before the album was completed. Has this had any effect on the recording process or the way the album turned out?

E: The biggest effect on the recording process was that the new violin player (Martin Björklund who is a friend of Jakob‘s) only needed 1.5 days in the studio to get all violin parts done instead of Janne who often needed 3-4 days… Janne didn’t write any songs in Månegarm; it’s Jonas and I who write the songs and it’s usually me that writes the melodies for guitar and violin, so him leaving didn’t have any effect on the final result I think.

I: If Månegarm could play a show anywhere in the world without any restrictions, where would you choose and why?

E: I would like our own festival; “Månegarm Open Air” or something like that. It would be cool to start off in a small scale and then turn it into the greatest festival ever!! That’s quite a dream uhh… but you said without any restrictions.

I: If you could replace the sound track to any movie with your music, which one would it be and why?

E: I know it’s a long shot but maybe some of our songs from our acoustic album Urminnes Hävd – The Forest Sessions could serve as a nice soundtrack to a scene in The Lord of the Rings. I don’t know which song would be best and I don’t know for which scene, but when I listen to that album and seeing these films I get sort of the same feelings and emotions…epic freedom, mysticism, grief, joy and emotions like that. I better call Peter Jackson right away!!

I: Do you have any final words for our readers and your fans?

E: Keep your eyes and ears open for our new album Legions of the North! You just can’t miss it, it’s a killer!!! See you all on the road!!

Månegarm online:

http://www.facebook.com/Manegarmsweden/
http://www.deaf-dumb.com/manegarm
http://www.manegarmsweden.com
http://www.myspace.com/manegarm
http://www.youtube.com/Manegarmofficial

 

Ravenage release lyric video plus announced for Bloodstock 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Heathen metal band Ravenage have recently released the lyric video for their song The Road To Retribution (Northbound Part II) that will be featured on their upcoming album which is currently untitled. The song is inspired by Bernard Cornwell‘s Saxon Stories series which follows the tale of Uhtred Bebbanberg. The video can be viewed below.

In related Ravenage news the band have been confirmed to play on the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air. This will be the band’s first Bloodstock appearance in five years. Ravenage will also headline the first night of Valkyrian Festival in November.

Ravenage online:

http://www.officialravenage.com
https://www.facebook.com/officialravenage/

 

Månegarm – Legions of The North

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 7th June 2013 by izaforestspirit

Månegarm
Legions of The North
Released 28th June2013
Viking Metal/ Black Metal
Released via Napalm Records

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‘Legions of The North’ is the new album from the Swedish viking metal band Månegarm. It is the follow up to their 2009 release ‘Nattväsen’.

After short, atmospheric instrumental Arise we head for the battlefields with the title track offering a good balance of guitar riffage and harsh, almost black metal style vocals. The drum patterns owe a lot to the black metal genre as well. If there ever was such a genre as “blackened viking metal”, Månegarm would be its torch-bearer. Take Eternity Awaits for instance, on one side it has these ultra catchy folk metal style guitar melodies and cheesy backing singers and then there are the frostbitten black metal vocals creeping in. Same can be said for the folk chants in Hordes of Hel. It might sound like an unusual mix, but believe me it works.

The march goes on into wintry forests as Tor Hjälpe sheds any traces of the happy folk tunes and replaces them with some grim black metal. I’m not sure what to make of the clear backing vocals though; they don’t seem to really fit the style of that song… Other noteworthy tracks include Sons of War which features some catchy rock guitar melodies and vocals that mimic war cries and Fallen which reminds me of their fellow countrymen Amon Amarth.

Overall this is album proves there is a lot more to Viking metal than fake swords, horned helmets and drinking tunes. It can be dark and powerful as well as melodic and catchy at the same time, which is a rarity these days.

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Tyr enlist George Kollias for upcoming album; Liv Kristine announced as guest vocalist

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Hailing from the Faroe Islands, Týr are currently recording their new album with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Aborted, Mercenary) at his studios in Denmark. For drum tracking on this album, Týr have enlisted the services of George Kollias, one of metal’s most accomplished drummers, primarily known for his work in Nile, as well as Nightfall. A video featuring drum tracking highlights, as well as a short message from Kollias, is streaming now on YouTube, which can be viewed here.

George Kollias comments on the experience:

Hey Týr fans, this is George Kollias and I hope you are ALL ready for a crushing new album from Týr!!! I had the pleasure to record the drums on the new album, we had an absolutely great time in the studio and I gotta tell you, the material is super strong and catchy, I’m 100% sure you will all love this new album!! Big thanks to Heri, Terji and Gunnar for the opportunity and to Jacob Hansen for his incredible work with the recordings!

Týr comments: 

It was a pleasure to have George in studio. He’s an amazing drummer and he certainly made an impact on this album. We’re very excited to release this album.

A recent announcement on the Týr Facebook page has confirmed that the band has parted ways with drummer Kári Streymoy. The band commented on the amicable split:

We regret to inform you that Kári Streymoy and the rest of the band have parted ways. Kári suffered a back injury in 2008, and since then he has had some issues with his drumming. That is the main reason that the co-operation has been problematic for some time now, and we finally decided to part ways. We want to thank Kári for his time in the band. It’s been great to have you with us, we wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope you recover fully some day.

This album will be the band’s seventh full length effort. One of the new tracks, The Lay of Our Love, will feature a duet with Týr vocalist Heri Joensen and Liv Kristine from Leaves Eyes. In an update on Leaves Eyes’ official Facebook page, Kristine announced:

Dear Viking-Metal Fans & Friends,
I am very happy to announce that I will be joining Týr for the duet The Lay Of Our Love on their up-coming album (title still to be revealed), which is set to be released this Fall. Heri already joined Leaves’ Eyes at our headliner show in Wacken Open Air 2012. This was an absolute highlight during our live performance, moreover, I really like his voice and I am grateful for the invitation. A superb track, with inspiring melodies and lyrics, proving the authenticity of Týr.
Love,
Liv

More details will be unveiled in the forthcoming months as music and art are completed. The band has been posting images from the studio throughout the recording process, so make sure to follow them on their official Facebook page for candid photos and personal updates from the band.

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband

 

New Northsong album on the horizon

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Cortland Runyon, the man behind the Viking metal solo project Northsong, recently that he’s finished writing the lyrics for the upcoming Northsong release. He also stated that he will begin vocal recording next week.

The Final Journey is set to be released through Warhorns Records in late February or March and will be available both physically and digitally. Cortland’s full announcement can be read at this location.

Northsong can be followed at the following locations:

https://www.facebook.com/Northsong
http://www.northsong.net/
http://www.twitter.com/northsongmetal
http://myspace.com/northsongmetal
http://soundcloud.com/northsongmetal
http://www.reverbnation.com/northsong

 

Taake Hits The Road For 20th Anniversary Tour With Helheim and Orkan

Posted in News with tags , , , on 18th January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian black metal titans Taake today announced the dates for the upcoming European tour which is part of the band’s 20thAnniversary celebrations. Supporting Taake on the tour will be Norway’s Viking metal raiding party Helheim, who themselves celebrated their own 20th Anniversary last year. Also on the tour will be thrashers Orkan whose line up includes members of Taake, Byfrost and Gravemachine. Routing for the 10 date tour as follows:

FEBRUARY
Thu 21, Baroeg, Rotterdam (NL)
Fri 22, Iduna, Drachten (NL)
Sat 23, Helvete, Oberhausen (DE)
Sun 24, Magasin 4, Brussels (BE)
Mon 25, Glazart, Paris (FR)
Tue 26, Ferrailleur, Nantes (FR)
Wed 27, CCO, Lyon (FR)
Thur 28, United Club, Turin (IT)
MARCH
Fri 01, Z7, Pratteln (CH)
Sat 02, Nifflheim Festival (DE) (HELHEIM only)

Of course, if you’re in the UK, you will need to travel to see Taake on their 20th anniversary tour – Disappointing, we know, that they’re not hitting the UK.

Formed in 1993, Taake’s contribution to the Norwegian Black Metal Scene has been considerable; with founder Hoest remaining true to his Black Metal roots, whilst still being able to breathe life and originality into the genre even after twenty years. The band also  recently announced the impending release of a double Anniversary CD which will not only feature exclusive new tracks, but also rare and previously unreleased material as well as alternative versions and recordings that have, until now, only been available on vinyl. This is certainly exciting news for CD collectors. Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner (Tombs, Crowns and Thrones), will be released on Dark Essence Records on the 1st of March in Norway and the 4th of March world-wide.

More information about Taake can be found on the band’s website at this location.

Six tracks from Taake, including the brand new track “Et Pust av Oeyne” from “Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner” can be heard at this location.

 

Incursed – Fimbulwinter

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 23rd November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Incursed
Fimbulwinter
Due for release/Released: November 2012
Epic Viking Metal/ Pagan Metal/Folk Metal
Released via Label: Unsigned

‘Fimbulwinter’ is the second album from the Spanish viking metal band Incursed. It is the follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Morituri’. The band has been compared to the likes of legendary viking and folk bands such as Ensiferum, Falkenbach and Mithotyn.

Now, I don’t think I’m the only who has trouble trying to piece together a link between the Vikings and Spain… Oh well.. nevermind, onto the music…

After the symphonic or should I say “epic” (read Ensiferum-style) instrumental intro track ‘Endless, Restless, Relentless’, it’s straight into some pagan metal with ‘Svolder’s Battle’ sounding like mixture of Korpiklaani and Falkenbach with hints of the aforementioned Ensiferum and possibly even Alestorm. Ok, so there’s no real accordions in here but the keyboard and guitars do a pretty good job of ensuring that the song is still catchy. Similar things can be said for the next track ‘Ginnungagap’, which has more of that symphonic feel to it due to the keyboards. The one thing which lets this song down are the vocals, as there are moments when I really can’t make out a single word that this guy is trying to say.

It’s pretty clear that these guys are really into Ensiferum as some of the song structures resemble those of the Finnish folk metal legends. One example of this are the vocal patterns on ‘Jörmungandr’. ‘Homeland’ features a somewhat unusual acoustic guitar intro but then it resumes the pre-set path of the previous tracks offering more of the same Ensiferum-esque folk metal melodies. One thing that sets these guys apart is their Spanish accents which are ever the more audible on the tracks where you can actually make out the words.

This album does have a few surprises, though. One of them is the country and western themed elements of ‘Nordwaldtaler’, which are sandwiched neatly between the folk metal style guitars and keyboards. Another noteworthy track is the catchy instrumental ‘Finnish Polka which really highlights the skills of both of guitarist and the keyboard player.

3/5 – It’s a very Nordic, folk metal sounding album by a Spanish band. I’m somewhat confused by this and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Iza Raittila

Legacy of Vydar – A Hundred Miles

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 30th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Legacy of Vydar
A Hundred Miles
Released 16th October 2011
Death Metal
Self-Released

Hailing come Germany, come death metal sextet Legacy of Vydar. Differing themselves from other bands of the genre, LoV bring with them a three guitar assault on the ear drums, almost like a death metal version of Iron Maiden. Their most recent album, A Hundred Miles was released almost a year ago.

My War, the first track on the album, has a very industrialesque sound that screams from the guitars, while the drums, bass and obviously the vocals, throw in a very powerful, very epic death metal sound. The riffs collide back and forth like raging waves smashing against cliffs. The title track, A Hundred Miles, unleashes a melodic styling upon an unsuspecting listener, almost coming across like an Amon Amarth track.

Too Far really did take me by surprise, beginning with a very melodic, very calm riff that was carried along by a heavier riff and callous drumming before it transforms into a howling beast of aggressive riffs and demonic vocal work. My Soul Unleashed is another Amon Amarth-styled track, only somewhat lacking in energy, which is a shame as I think this track would make for a decent mosh pit anthem. No Remorse displays a use of very intelligently performed riffs that come blasting more fierce and terrifying than the A-bomb. The vocals add a beastly sound that seems like the last piece of the puzzle in this track, completing and making it one of the stand out tracks of the album.

Hope And Despair is a very calm instrumental, that eases you into that false sense of security before the violent wails of The Trail begin charging like a bull that’s just seen red. Vidar, which is undoubtedly about the Norse god of the same name, is another stand out track on the album, displaying influences from varying Viking metal bands while sticking to the band’s own sound at the same time, fusing everything together into a masterpiece of pure death metallic goodness.

Hold On pulls no punches when it comes to melodic riffs and rhythmic drumming. The band have carefully balanced out the aggressive vocals and melodic music in a beautiful and artistic manner on this track, keeping that balance there with the tempo changes as well. For such a bloodthirsty sounding track, Still Alive, sounds subtly cheery and hopeful at the same time, as its violent sounding riffs get the blood flowing. Not The End is certainly an ironic title for a title that is the end of the album. The riffs scream out eerily familiar to Twilight of the Thunder God, invoking a truly epic sound that really gives the album a brilliant end.

Germany is renowned for its metal scene and with Legacy of Vydar on the scene, its going to get much better. Legacy of Vydar are one of the few death metal bands that really do proper melodic riffs and A Hundred Miles really displays each member’s talent as well as the ever-growing sound of the band, so if you like a clean, crisp sound topped with guttural growls and fierce riffs, A Hundred Miles is one for your collection. Hopefully we’ll hear more from these hard rocking Teutonic warriors of metal very soon.

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

King of Asgard – …To North

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

King of Asgard
…To North
Released: 31st July
Viking Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

King of Asgard - ...to North

2008 saw the birth of King of Asgard after Karl Beckman dissolved his then current musical projects. Teaming up with his old Mithotyn accomplice Karsten Larsson, the two decided to go back to their roots musically, as well as take a lyrical approach regarding Norse heritage. 2010 saw the release of their debut full-length album Fi’mbulvintr via Metal Blade Records. Two years on, King of Asgard’s next full-length epic, …To North, awaits release upon the unsuspecting victims of this Viking horde of musical genius.

The generic titled Intro starts the album with a mix of guitars and horns before marching into The Nine Worlds Burn, an event that happens during in Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world. The riffs flow back and forth like the raging waves of the North Sea while the vocals add the vicious assault to the song. The drums are somewhat masterfully played, force marching the song into euphoric yet intimidating song. The female vocals used in the track did take me by surprise, adding a soothing feeling to the song, that contrasts well against the violent use of guitars and drums.

The Dispossessed begins with a callous riff that contains a subtle melody. The drums sound out furiously throughout the song, almost feeling like Mjollnir coming crashing down on one’s head. The vocals, as to be expected for King of Asgard, are boodthirsty, raw and powerful. Gaps of Ginnungs contains a solemn, august sound that even flows through the majestic solo. Some of the vocal sections bring a very folky touch to the song, as well as conjuring up images of mist-covered villages in Scandinavia. The following track, Bound to Reunite, steps away from the solemn sound of the previous track and into something more angry and berserker-like.

Nordvegr is the more melodic track on the album, beginning with a staunch use of melodic riffs before taking a more straight forward assault of hammering drum work and riffs sharper than any blade. Up On The Mountains is another track with a melodic introduction, though it serves as the calm before the raging storm of snarling guitars and bone-crushing drum work. The use of choir-like vocal sections serves to add a sagaic sound to the track, whilst the main vocals create the barbaric sound that is found several times on the album. Plague-Ridden Rebirth carries on the savage use of screaming guitar sections and baneful drumming with the vocals sounding more and more murderous and inhuman with each line.

Harvest (The End) is moderately tranquil but still has its own little bite to keep the listener hooked. The title track, …To North, is the autumn-like ending of the album, being composed of a regal yet sorrowful piano medley that leads into the gloomy, melodic riffs that ring out with emotion.

It would seem that King of Asgard have produced yet another epic in the form of …To North, developing upon their sound from the previous album but staying true to their roots at the same time.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Shades of Avalon release debut video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 7th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Manchester based Viking Death Metal band, Shades of Avalon, have released their debut music video – and Valkyrian Music have been given an exclusive link!

Entitled Maldon’s Legacy, it will be the lead track on the forthcoming ‘Northern Barbarians’ EP that will be released later this year:

http://vimeo.com/43296624

Shades of Avalon will be playing both Leatherfest (Jun 30th) and Valkyrian Festival (Nov 24th), and you can find their full schedule including further gig announcements etc at http://www.facebook.com/shadesofavalon

Interview: Heri Joensen [Feb 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on 19th February 2012 by Nico Davidson

Nico catches up with Tyr frontman Heri Joensen at the sold-out show at Fibbers, York to talk about Tyr’s sound, influences and many other things.

The Northmen Return

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th January 2012 by Nico Davidson

It’s more than a month away until the Faroese titans of Viking metal known as “Tyr” hit the historic city of Jorvik (York for those who don’t speak Old Norse) for their first ever headline show in the UK. Joining their warband for the night of pillaging, drunkenness and face-melting metal will be none other than Hull-based epic Viking metal outfit Ravenage and the Scottish black metal lords “Maelstrom”.

The event is brought to you by Asgard Online (who sponsored Valkyrian Festival 2011) and will be held at Fibbers in York on 18th February. Tickets are available from Asgard Online’s official website: www.asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html for only £16.00!

In celebration of the show, the team got together to bring you our favourite Tyr songs, in no precise order:

”The Wild Rover” – Picked by Hannah.

“Hold The Heather Hammer High” – Picked by Demolithia

“Ride” – Picked by Alasdair.

“Hail To The Hammer”- Picked by Iza.

“By The Sword In My Hand” – Picked by Nico.

Ravenage w/Support @ Hollywood & Vine, Hull [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th December 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Ravenage, Infernal Creation, Windrider
Location: Hollywood & Vine, Kingston Upon Hull
Date: 10th December

All things come in threes as the saying goes and that was certainly true on the cold Saturday night as three of Hull’ finest metal bands were ready blow the proverbial roof off of Hollywood & Vine. It was also the third time that I would be seeing Infernal Creation, Windrider and Ravenage so the buzz of excitement that was in the air certainly added to my excitement as well.

Windrider opened the proceedings though frontman Elliot was absent from the stage at the beginning of the first songIMG_0007 but he did make himself known when he took to the stage in time for the first vocal section. The bassist Hallam was also absent but a replacement bassist called Greig had took his place for the night – Or at least that’s what I’m assuming anyway. As usual, Windrider performed a tight and mighty sounding set though one parts the fierce roar of the guitars and the keyboard samples did sound to be quite drowned out by the vocals but fortunately it wasn’t the case for the full set. The drum and bass work definitely deserve praise as well. “The Hall Of The Slain” was definitely one of the stronger sounding songs in Windrider’s set. Windrider are definitely a band to see if you’re a fan of the likes of Amon Amarth, Ensiferum and Turisas.

Windrider – The Hall Of The Slain

in  (21)Infernal Creation soon took to the stage after Windrider, bringing their fierce and violent brand of British black metal with them. The tempestuous roar of guitars blasted through the amps like a hurricane as the vocal work of Neiph did much to savagely entertain the crowd. The vehement performance of “The Angel Of Endless Hunger” was definitely a treat to listen to as well, along with the feral sounds of “The Insidious Gospel”. Infernal Creation definitely proved themselves to be one of the finest black metal bands in the abyss that is the British metal underground.

IMG_0151And so then it came to the headlining act for the night, none other than Hull’s very own Ravenage, who earlier this year toured with Nothgard, Celtachor and Infernal Creation as part of the Warhorns Over Aengland tour. Taking to the stage in their Viking outfits, they performed a mighty sounding set, most of which was dominated by majestic IMG_0224sounding songs such as “Winter Ternia”, “Let Vengeance Quell My Agony” and “More Beer” from the new album “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” all of which were simply fantastic. The frontman Glyn did much to show what a great showman he is, including bringing out the old sword – Something which I’d only witnessed once before at a show Ravenage played a few years back in Bridlington. Of course the fun didn’t end there as Ravenage performed a fine rendition of “Viking Dream” from their EP “Hardrada’s Fall” and a fun, folk metal version of “Drunken Sailor” that had everyone dancing. Much to my surprise, they finished the show off with a performance of my favourite Ravenage track “Ravenser”, which sounds better live than the recorded version – The recorded version is still epic though.

The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy the show and so did I. If Ravenage, Infernal Creation or Windrider ever come to your town (or city or village or house or farm), you better make sure you see them because all three put on a damn good show and when they’re all on the same bill, “epic” would be an understatement.

Nico Davidson

Ravenage will be supporting Tyr at Fibbers in York on 18th February. To order your tickets, go to: http://asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html

Vikings Set To Ravage York (Again!)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 18th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

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The Vikings are invading York! Next February sees the Jorvik Viking Festival take place once again. And once the battle is over on Saturday 18th Feb, the mighty Faroese Viking Metal band Tyr will be performing their first ever U.K headline show. Could there be a more fitting culmination to this event? We think not!

The concert, in association with Asgard and the Jorvik Viking Festival will take place at Fibbers on Stonebow – a mere axe throw from the famous Viking Centre itself.

The line-up is confirmed as Tyr, with support from Yorkshire heathen metallers Ravenage and the Glasgowegian black metal band Maelstrom.

Tickets are priced at £16 and can be purchased from the venue, the usual outlets or direct from Asgard’s event page at: www.asgardonline.co.uk

Asgard Online are also sponsoring Valkyrian Festival 2011. 

The Saxons Are Coming (Again!)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 2nd September 2011 by Nico Davidson

In October, the UK will see the return of mighty Saxon, Viking and Celtic warriors on the Warhorns Over Aengland tour. Nothgard will be touring for three days around England with support from Hull’s own Ravenage, Windrider and Infernal Creation along with Ireland’s very own Celtic Black Metal quintet Celtachor.

Dates confirmed so far are 29th October at Rios in Bradford and Relentless Garage in London on 30th October. Tickets for the Bradford show are available here for a mere £6. Tickets for the London show will soon be available.

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