FORTID–Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages

Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages
Released on 26th March 2010
Folk/Viking Metal

Released via Schwarzdorn Productions

Fortid were formed in Iceland a decade ago, as the solo project of Einar Thorberg, with the main purpose of putting the Voluspa, one of the most famous pieces from the Poetic Edda, into musical form. Fall of the Ages is the final part of the musical trilogy that is Voluspa.

The sobering sound of Ancient Halls starts the album eerily with a combination of synths, guitars and the sound of waves crashing on the shore. The sound of ravens cawing adds a very grim, archaic feel to the atmosphere that is emitted from the music. Of course the song isn’t all slow as it takes a change in pace towards the end, which also alters the atmosphere of the track. The second track, Ragnarok Army From The East, has a gloomy intro before turning into a force of black metal styled riffs and overwhelming drum patterns. The vocals are raw, raspy and callous, sounding similar to the vocal style of Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir), only not as refined, which I find to be a good thing for the track. The use of more laid back riffs with atmospheric choir sections adds a certain distinct feeling to the song, giving it that tragic edge. The rest o the track is full of horde-like aggression and a subtle use of cleaner vocals that do work well with the riffs. The track does end with the aforementioned laid back riffs and choirs, however which leads brilliantly into the destructive stylings of the third track, Fall of the Ages, which is also the title track. There is a strong presence of black metal influences throughout the track, with sly hints of Bathory here and there.

Equilibrium Reclaimed differs from the previous tracks due to it’s more grand, majestic yet partially sinister sound that is emphasised by the use of clean vocals and death metal styled growls. The synth section, almost halfway through, brings a very aphotic sound to the track before proceeding back into murky yet epic sounds that preceded it. The acoustic stylings of New Dawn follows next, creating a dense atmosphere of sombre feelings, something that is added to by the strong use of clean vocals and synths. Fortunately for fans of the heavier side of music, there are some slight uses of heavier guitars, though they’re partially drown out by the other instrumentation and vocals. Heltekinn blasts through with a very noticeable august power metal sound, which is a surprise, especially when it’s combined with a heavy use of black metal screams. The synth sections make the song feel and sound more dramatic. Some of the riffs on his track are noticeably more melodic than any of the riffs on the rest of the album. The album comes to its end with The Future, a ten minute song that has a fierce sound with a touch of hopelessness thrown in for good measure. In a sense, the song is virtually a doom metal epic, but as whether Einar intended it be so is a completely different matter.

I’ve read the Poetic Edda a fair few times, especially Voluspa and while I’ve never envisioned it to be set to a mix of black and Viking metal, Voluspa Part III does do the poem justice. There are some parts that could be worked upon, such as the sound quality of some of the vocal parts and certain instruments being drown out but all in all, Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages is a damned good album full of Vikingtastic riffs and vocals harsher than a jotun’s wrath.


Nico Davidson

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