Archive for Norwegian metal

Fortid founding member issues statement about upcoming album and other projects

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Einar Thorberg, the founding member and frontman of Norwegian Extreme Pagan Metallers Fortid has issued an update on the progress of the band’s fifth full-length album.

“The drums have been finalised, and we’re well into the pre-production stage and happy with the way things are progressing.  With this album I didn’t want to make a repeat of 2012’s Pagan Prophecies or any of our other albums come to that, so there will be more diversity in tempo, and maybe even an occasional flirtation with pop/rock, but not enough to upset our fans.  The lyrical concept of the album deals with the quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself and the universe through Nordic tradition and the story of Odin.  The lyrics will be in Icelandic, which is my mother tongue and allows me to express myself more personally and deeply than I could in any other language.

Thorberg formed Fortid in Iceland in 2002, essentially as a solo project, and released the first two parts of the Völuspá Trilogy, the full-length albums Thor’s Anger and The Arrival of Fenris, before moving to Norway and releasing the third part, Fall of the Ages.  By this time Fortid had a permanent line-up which today includes Thorberg on guitars and vocals, Øystein Hansen (ex-Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forcefed Horsehad, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Etherial Forest, Sarkom) on drums.

As well as Fortid, Thorberg has a number of other projects he is involved in, one of them being Midnattsvrede which has largely remained dormant since 1994, but is now active again, and set to release a split album with another of his projects, CurseMidnattsvrede’s contribution will be 4 tracks, one of which will be a cover of Ved Buens Ende’s Carrier of Wounds, a song that Thorberg is particularly excited about, having laid the groundwork for it back in 2007.  As he explains:

Finally the piece is going to come to light, and we’ll be interpreting it in a whole different way.  The track blends perfectly with Midnattsvrede’s own material and if you know VBE you’ll get some kind of idea of what to expect – but only partly!

Curse’s contribution will be one very long song which is divided into four separate tracks dealing with a blend of philosophy and science. It won’t be in the Black ‘n Roll style of Curse’s last album, but will hark back to the more atmospheric style that the band used on the split with Skydom.

In July, Thorberg will hit the stage at the Eistnaflug Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, with Potentiam, the band that he fondly refers to as “the slowest working band there is”.  Despite this, after 16 years Potentiam is still going strong, with drums and half the guitars already recorded on what will be the band’s fourth full-length album which will feature eight tracks in the gloom-laden style for which Potentiam is known.

If Fortid and three other projects were not enough, Thorberg has also finished recording an album with Gudmundur Óli Pálmason from Sólstafir for Unknown Circle, a band he calls his new “experimental pet project”.   No decision has yet been taken as to how to proceed with Unknown Circle, but the album is ready and waiting.

Fortid online:

http://www.facebook.com/fortid
http://www.youtube.com/FortidNorway
http://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/fortid

 

Ancestral Legacy – Nightmare Diaries [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 27th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Ancestral Legacy
Album: Nightmare Diaries
Release year: 2010
Genre: Gothic Metal/Symphonic Metal

Ancestral Legacy, originally known as Permafrost, are a Norwegian Gothic metal band currently signed to Femme Metal Record. While not receiving massive commercial success, the band have enjoy much success in the international metal underground. “Nightmare Diaries” is the latest chapter in their long lasting saga.

The first track, “Out Of The Dark And Into The Light”, begins with a clean, melodic intro which is soon joined by an aggressive fast-paced onslaught of guitars and drums. The vocals, which are calm and soothing, don’t work well with the fast pace of the drums causing a certain amount of discontent in the music. The harsher vocals work better with the fast tempo. The riffs are well written for the most part though in sections they don’t agree, musically, with the drums. There is only one section where the female vocals sound right and that’s towards the end when the drums have slowed down.

“Separate Worlds” blasts its way next with a heavy mixture of growls, drums and guitars as the intro. The female vocals are quite weak on this one though that might be due to the music and other vocals overpowering them. The drums are precise and tight, as to be expected. This track would be more akin to death metal as opposed to any form of Gothic or symphonic metal due to the heavy lack of soft parts and lack of keyboards. “Chosen Destiny” has an interesting introduction, being composed of acoustic and electric guitars. The female vocals are much more powerful on this track, adding a sense of mystique to the music whilst enchanting the listener like sweet aroma. Even the death metalesque growls don’t break the spell cast by the female vocals. Musically, the track is solid, especially in terms of the acoustic sections.

”Perhaps In Death” has a beautiful mix of guitars, drums and piano at the beginning that only becomes more tantalising to the ears with the introduction of the female vocals. As the song progresses, the guitars turn slightly melodic adding a mysterious touch to the song. The slow, light introduction of “Trapped Within The Wind” lulls the listener into a calm, relaxed state as the female vocals conjure you soothing images. One key thing about this song is the lack of harsh vocals, which adds to its calming atmosphere. “Done” has a more sinister yet majestic sound introduction. The first form of vocal work is the low guttural growl which is soon followed by the female vocals. For the most part, the guitars are barely audible compared to the vocals, which is a crying shame. The voice over towards the end adds a certain feel to the music as well.

”Still” is another track to start with a calm introductory section mixed with the soothing element of the female vocals. For the most part, the song retains its serene feeling. The guitars do add a violent element to the music in certain parts as does the harsher vocal work. The sound samples of a baby crying add a very dark and eerie sound to the song, the kind that sends chills up the listener’s spine. “Tomorrow’s Chance” starts with an intro that is more attune to hard rock rather than metal – Until the rough vocal work comes into action. The guitar work is tight and well composed though the drums and keyboard sections seem to be lacking the same energy as the guitars. the female vocals have some good parts as well.

”…My Departed” could easily be described as melodic death metal – though the riffs aren’t quite heavy enough to be death metal. The vocal work switches beautifully between harsh and soft, in true beauty and the beast fashion. The voice overs in the second part of the song add some emotion to the song and the album. The album comes to a finale with “The Shadow Of The Cross”, which is perhaps the only thing that has come close to Gothic sounding on the whole album. The growls are the first vocals to make themselves heard, barely blending with the music. The female vocals do a better job of blending in with the music fortunately. Musically, the song sounds great with the keyboard sections adding that extra dark sound to the song.

”Nightmare Diaries” is hardly a Gothic metal album or a symphonic metal album for that matter. It’s more along the lines of being melodic metal, however, this doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable album for the most part. The sound quality isn’t perfect but if the listener can get past that, then they’ll really enjoy this album.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson