King of Asgard – …To North

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

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