Archive for Viking

Grimner – Frost Mot Eld

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 20th March 2016 by mickbirchy

Grimner
Frost Mot Eld
Folk-Metal, Viking Metal
Released: 25 March 2016
Via Despotz

So I’ve found myself in this predicament.  Reviewing an album in a language that I don’t speak and trying to discuss a sub-genre that I enjoy but don’t fully understand.  This should be a treat. Well before I get started, I will underline this review with this statement: I like this album, I think Grimner are a good band with a lot of potential.  There, with that being said.  Let’s discuss this album.

Grimner for the uninitiated are a Viking folk metal band from Motala, Sweden. They have been around for the better part of a decade and their music consists of mixing metal with folk instrumentation. The only real experience I have of this is with the bands Turisas, Korpiklaani and Ensiferum and even that is limited. All of those bands I enjoy just fine but however I think there is a fine line between this music being good and it just not working and all of these band cross that line from time to time. However I think Frost Mot Eld is a perfectly acceptable effort.  The production is nice and there is a really nice balance of the metal elements and the folk instruments all the while nothing feels overshadowed everything just hits the right note.

The melodies a beautifully written and well arranged.  The music encompasses you and while listening to the record I got caught up in the musicianship as I am sure anyone would be.  The music is great.  The more “metal” elements are catchy and give the album an intensity and harshness which counters the pleasant, clean tones of the folk instrumentation.  The only thing that I’m not a fan of is the guttural vocals, don’t get me wrong, they’re not badly executed or anything but when compared to the clean vocals on the album they seem a little lackluster. Even the big choir like vocal stylings shine in comparison.  If you’re into that type of vocals with this music then fine.  However I feel the clean vocals are just too nice to be pushed to the side for the heavy guttural vocals.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying this album a lot lately and maybe I need to get into it a little more.  I like the sound and it’s certainly different to a lot of music I usually listen to. The music is nice and the songs are very well written.  I find myself humming the melodies long after I’ve turned it off.  If folk metal is your sort of thing and what I’ve described sounds good to you then go check it out.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Warhorns 2014 announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by Nico Davidson

The third edition of the annual Warhorns Festival has been announced. Unlike the previous two years, Warhorns 2014 will take place in Selby, near York, at The Riverside on Saturday 20th September. Announced so far for the festival are York’s mercenary metallers Sellsword as well as Nottingham pirate metallers Red Rum and Hullian black metal outfit Aloeswood. Other bands are to be announced including the headliner and ticket information will be available in the near future.

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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Grand Magus main man JB talks about new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Sweden’s premier riff lords Grand Magus have unveiled the first album trailer for their upcoming album Triumph and Power. Watch below as the band’s main man JB discuss details about the new album.

The tracklist of Triumph And Power reads as follows:

1. On Hooves Of Gold
2. Steel Versus Steel
3. Fight
4. Triumph And Power
5. Dominator
6. Arv
7. Holmgång
8. The Naked And The Dead
9. Ymer
10. The Hammer Will Bite

Bonus:

11. Blackmoon

The band commented about the album:

Triumph And Power has been completed. It’s a metal triumph of Viking power!!! Once again we worked with Nico Elgstrand as producer, a tradition that started with Hammer Of The North back in 2010. This is our strongest album yet, it has the northern feel, it has the power and the melody that has become our mark of excellence. Fans of true metal will take this album to their hearts. To top everything off, we have the striking and epic artwork of Anthony Roberts. The album cover perfectly captures the work on this album and Grand Magus as a band. Stay true!

Triumph and Power is set for release vis Nuclear Blast on 3rd February 2014.

Grand Magus online:

http://grandmagus.com/
http://facebook.com/grandmagusofficial
https://twitter.com/GrandMagus
https://youtube.com/GrandMagusBand
http://myspace.com/grandmagusrocks

 

Andy Sneap, Kev Bower and Bill Steer discuss ultimate tour line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Legendary British metal acts Hell and Carcass kick off their UK tour with none other than Swedish Viking death metal maestros Amon Amarth today. As such, the bands’ label Nuclear Blast decided to get Carcass’s Bill Steer and Hell’s Andy Sneap and Kev Bower together to discuss their ultimate tour line-up and why they want to see those bands on the same line-up. The discussion can be viewed below.

Catch Carcass, Hell, Amon Amarth and Bleed Within in the cities below:

Nov 12 – Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 – Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 – Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 – Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 – London Forum

Týr – Valkyrja

Posted in Review 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 Valkyrja studio video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 21st August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Faroese Viking metallers Týr have been working hard on their seventh studio album, Valkyrja, which is due for release in the UK on 16th September via Metal Blade. Fans can now get a small glimpse of the creative process that is driving Valkyrja towards completion while Týr have been recording at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. You can watch the video below.

The opening track, Blood Of Heroes, is streaming at this location where the album is also available for pre-order. The limited edition pre-order bundles include Týr pendants, t-shirts, vinyl LP and the CD.

Týr are also pleased to announced that Amon Ellingsgaard will be drumming for Týr on their European tour with Finntroll later this month. Amon is the current drummer for Heri‘s side project: Heljareyga. Many fans will most likely be familiar with Amon, as he is also the nephew of former Týr Kari.

Tyr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Warhorns Festival 2013: Six bands you must see this year!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

It’s coming to that time of year when the second edition of the Warhorns Festival is just around the corner. Taking place in the historic Viking capital of the north, York, where the infamous Eric Bloodaxe once ruled ruled as King of Northumbria, the two day event features some of the UK’s and Europe’s best folk, Viking and black metal acts. So we composed a list of six bands you must absolutely see at this year’s Warhorns Festival.

6. Red Rum

Because pirates. That’s why. I mean, who doesn’t like pirates? Aside from victims of pirates but I’m sure they still think pirates are cool. They also have an EP coming coming out soon.

5. Maelstrom

Dark. Brooding. And addicted to haggis. Much like the vast majority of the stereotypical populace of Glasgow. The only difference is that Maelstrom actually play a decent blend of symphonic black metal. Oh and they wear suits. Trve Glaswegian Corporate Black Metal.

4. Infernal Creation

Probably the blackest black metal band to come out of Hull since… Uh… I’ll get back to you on that one. Having already supported the likes of Fleshgod ApocalypseHecate Enthroned and Nothgard, as well as playing Bloodstock last year, Infernal Creation are definitely a band to watch out for at this year’s Warhorns.

3. Old Corpse Road

If you like happy, cheery music about rainbows and kittens and fluffy clouds then I have news for you… Old Corpse Road aren’t going to be for you. However, if you enjoy the kind of music that is dark, atmospheric and heavier than a beached whale as well hauntingly good live, then OCR are a must see band at Warhorns. Oh and it’s their second appearance at the festival.

2. Mael Mordha

Gaelic Doom Metal. Not many bands can actually describe themselves as that and make it sound more epic than a drunken night out which led to sword fighting with a Viking, slaying a dragon and bedding the fair maiden but Mael Mordha do which stands as a testament to the strength of Ireland’s growing metal scene.

1. Black Messiah

One of the two headliners of the second night, Black Messiah are the number one band to see at this year’s Warhorns. With snarling guitar passages, grand symphonic elements, intelligently played drums and vocals that pack more punch that a ton of bricks falling right on top of you, Black Messiah are going to raise the bar for Warhorns.

Warhorns Festival will take place from 27th September to 28th September at The Duchess in York and tickets are available from this location.

Interview with Erik Grawsiö (Månegarm)

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

 photo group2-scaled_zps2190a9fe.jpg

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

 

Germanic metallers Fjoergyn confirmed for Warhorns 2013

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

With a line-up that is already boasting some the UK’s and Europe’s finest underground folk, Viking and black metal acts such Old Corpse Road, Maelstrom, Dothborgia, Kull and many more, the epic Teutonic metal band Fjoergyn have been confirmed for the second edition of the Warhorns Festival that will take place in York on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September.

Tickets, for this month only, are priced at the same price last year:

£19 – WEEKEND
£6 – FRIDAY DAY TICKET
£15 – SATURDAY DAY TICKET

Further details on the festival can be found at this location.

Fjoergyn online:

http://www.fjoergyn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Fjoergynofficial/

 

Carcass confirmed to tour Europe with Amon Amarth

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

Kings of the British extreme metal scene Carcass have been confirmed to tour Europe with Sweden’s favourite Viking-themed death metal band Amon Amarth. Carcass bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker comments:

We are extremely happy and flattered to have been invited by the mighty Amon Amarth on their forthcoming raids upon the fatherland and it’s borders. Carcass has not played a club tour in Germany for TWENTY YEARS!!! Yes I repeat TWENTY YEARS! This is gonna be great with both bands playing songs from their new killer albums Deceiver of The Gods and Surgical Steel! Anglo-Nordic Death Metal über Deutschland!

Tour dates are as follow:

November
7 – Oberhausen, Germany – Turbinen Halle
8 – Tilburg, Netherlands – O13
9 – Osnabrück, Germany – Hyde Park
10 – Brussels, Belgium – AB Hall
18 – Paris, France – Olympia
19 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Arena
20 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Schlachthof
22 – Zürich, Switzerland – Komplex
23 – München, Germany – Kesselhaus
24 – Trezzo Sull’Adda (Milano), Italy – Live Club
27 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
28 – Leipzig, Germany – Haus Auensee
29 – Hamburg, Germany – Docks

Carcass recently signed to Nuclear Blast for a world-wide deal – excluding Japan – with the new album Surgical Steel to be release potentially in autumn.

Carcass online:

http://facebook.com/OfficialCarcass

Amon Amarth release details about ninth studio album

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

Swedish Viking-themed death metallers Amon Amarth recently unveiled the details of their ninth studio album. Titled Deceiver of the Gods, the epic offering of Viking-styled death metal was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). The cover art was, once again, completed by Tom Thiel and depicts a mythical battle between the Norse deities Loki and Thor (Editor’s note: The artwork looks partially like a scene from the movie, Thor). Fans will also recognize a special appearance on this album with Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) providing guest vocals for eighth song, Hel (Whom in Norse mythology is the goddess of the dead and ruler of Helheim). Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records 24th June, along with the rest of Europe and the album will be released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on 21st June.

The band’s vocalist Johan Hegg comments:

We feel very excited about this new album, and personally I feel that Deceiver of the Gods is the strongest album we’ve ever done. By far! I’m confident that all our fans will enjoy this ‘punch-in-the-face-of-a-record!

Opening title track and first single, Deceiver of the Gods is currently streaming at the band’s official Metal Blade page, where you’ll also find special pre-order info. You can also listen to the track below.

Deceiver of the Gods Track Listing:
01. Deceiver of the Gods
02. As Loke Falls
03. Father of the Wolf
04. Shape Shifter
05. Under Siege
06. Blood Eagle
07. We Shall Destroy
08. Hel
09. Coming of the Tide
10. Warriors of the North

Described as a compelling synthesis of buzzsaw riff work, melodic harmonies and soul-severing rhythms punctuated by vocalist Johan Hegg’s callous Viking roar and gripping accounts of Norse battles and treachery, Deceiver of the Gods is the follow-up to the band’s critically lauded 2011 Surtur Rising full-length. Finding placement on multiple charts worldwide the record is among the band’s fastest-selling albums to date. Surtur Rising sold approximately 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week landing the band at #34 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums. Around the world Surtur Rising also charted in Germany at #8 on the Top 100 chart, #19 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #12 on Austria’s Top 40 Chart and Switzerland’s Top 100 at #20.

Amon Amarth will be opening the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29th in San Bernardino . Prior to that they’ll be at the 2013 edition Download, sharing the stage with the likes of Airbourne, Rival Sons and Limp Bizkit!

Amon Amarth’s summer 2013 European festival tour dates are as follow:
06/01 Nijmegen, NL Forta Rock Festival
06/06 Solvesborg, SE Sweden Rock Festival
06/07 Nurburgring, DE Rock Am Ring
06/08 Amnéville, FR Sonisphere
06/09 Nurenberg, DE Rock Im Park
06/11 Prague, CZ MeetFactory
06/12 Wroclaw, PL Eter Club
06/14 Copenhagen, DK Copenhell
06/15 Nickelsdorf, AT Nova Rock
06/16 Donington, UK Download Festival

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

Æther Realm – One Chosen by the Gods

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 4th February 2013 by Hannah

Æther Realm
One Chosen by the Gods
Released 8th January 2013
Folk/Death Metal
Self-Released

North Carolina’s Æther Realm– no, they’re not from Finland- are a brilliant band that play no holds-barred, folk spirited metal that rouses the soul and provides an excellent soundtrack for generally epic activities- from pillaging villages to playing Skyrim. Their debut album, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is a solid and impressive offering that is incredibly atmospheric, and very strong from the first track to the last.

Opening on the mighty ‘Oak’, the album dives headfirst into epic folk melodies that are intertwined expertly with harsh vocals and an excellent use of both hard, metallic riffs and a softer, instrumental sound. As with the rest of the tracks, the lyrics are effective and play along to the ‘Viking’ theme exceedingly well. Second track ‘Journey of Discovery’ begins with an atmospheric, almost cinematic sound. In fact, this wonderful song in its entirety would be suitable for a fantasy epic. Fantastic effort here, with a good use of vocals and instrumentation throughout. This epic quality continues with ‘Hourglass’, which also contains a nice variation in tempo throughout, and helps to keep the album as a whole even more interesting. There are some very intricate melodies at play here, which adds to the multi-layered feeling of the track altogether. The band’s namesake song, ‘Æther Realm’ is a much faster paced track, with a heavy, stomping tempo that is reminiscent of horses galloping into battle. As heard on the previous song, this track contains some nice tempo changes and this helps to showcase the talent of the band well.

If I had to pick a favourite of the nine tracks on offer here, track number five would probably be it- but the fact it was so difficult for me to decide this shows how strong all of the songs on this album are! ‘Swampwitch’ is an incredibly catchy tune, with an infectious refrain and an impressive and not too excessive guitar solo. I particularly like the group of voices shouting the title throughout the chorus. Eponymous track ‘One Chosen By The Gods’ has a ferocious beginning, and it doesn’t disappoint as the track progresses. It’s a fantastic, rasping battle-cry of a song, complete with pounding, machine-gun drums. There’s an interesting use of symphonic keys in the mix here, which adds another melodic element to the track and lends it an almost video game-esque quality to the sound. Next song, ‘Ravensong’, includes a great use of choral vocals, with (the almost signature) sweeping melodic background- another excellent song, which is becoming something of a trademark for Æther Realm! The penultimate offering, ‘Winter’s Grasp’, is almost progressive in parts, and lends itself well to comparisons with Wintersun. Even so, in some ways this would be the weak link of the album, if it was at all possible to single out any of these songs as being ‘weak’- I merely feel, personally, that a slightly rawer, folk edge would have lent itself to the song a little better. Album closer ‘Odin Will Provide’, however, is a truly epic way to bring this triumph of an album to a close. Here are, once again, a strong melody, supported by fantastic and intelligent lyrics and another catchy refrain. This track ensures that the album makes its mark on your memory!

Overall, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is an excellent debut offering from a band that is well on their way to taking their place in the glorious ranks of the other Viking-clad folk metal behemoths. Æther Realm’s sound is somewhere in between Ensiferum and Wintersun, and if they can constantly deliver goods as solid as this, they will have nothing to worry about. A fantastically impressive set of songs, with no real weak link among them, and it has certainly whetted my appetite for more. I look forward to seeing what more Æther Realm have in store.

5/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

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

 

Warhorns 2013 confirmed

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 14th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Following this year’s Warhorns Festival, the organisers at Warhorns are happy to confirm 2013’s instalment of the UK’s best folk, Viking and black metal festival to take place once again at The Duchess in York. Happening over the 27th and 28th, with Yorkshire band’s Northern Oak and Infernal Creation already confirmed alongside Scottish black metal suits, Maelstrom.

The organiser’s have promised the “most epic of headliners” as well so be prepared to raise your flagons of mead for another another epic event. Tickets will be available soon with more bands, including the aforementioned headliners, to be confirmed. For further details, click here.

 

Corretja – ‘American Ragnarok’

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 30th April 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Corretja
Album: American Ragnarok
Release date: October 2011
Genre: Metal
Label: Unsigned   –  http://corretja.net

 

 

Melodic death metal, with viking imagery and titles such as ‘A Battle For Lundene’; deathly vocals and blastbeats…this isn’t the new Amon Amarth album, but it’s a worthy addition to the (battle)field.  From Virginia USA, igniting the fires of European pagan metal – electronics included – on their home shores, Corretja have produced an album celebrating both American history and Norse mythology.  The tracks are concise (the longest clocking in at 3.55), and relentless in their energy.

From the American civil war to London’s bloodstained streets, ‘American Ragnarok’ is constantly throwing surprises and new ideas forward.  The opening tracks set the tone with pounding blasts, epic twin leads and atmospheric keyboards, then ‘Bull Run II’ introduces clean, electronically harmonised vocals intermittently – and the sample of a bull!

After 5 tracks of similarly powerful melodic DM (with thrash elements), ‘Throne of Bebbenberg’ appears with a minute long blast of old school, no frills death metal, minus keyboards.  It provides a quick detour from the established sound and nicely sets up the closing numbers ‘Enjoy the Violence’ and ‘Thrashowar’ – a drastically reimagined cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Photographic’ and a fitting tribute to Manowar’s drummer Scott Columbus respectively.

Corretja have an admirable DIY ethic, and while the programmed drums and prominent keyboards lack the ‘polish’ of major label releases, this does not detract from the charm, energy and aggression of the album.  The songs are well written, the instruments played well and the delivery is consistent.  The band want to pay tribute to metal and they have totally succeeded.

With eight tracks in 20 minutes, there’s no danger of getting bored, the variety of riffs on display and the catchy melodies keep you enthralled until the end.

4.5/5

Tobias Gray.

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.

Valkyrian Festival Receives Sponsorship

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 22nd September 2011 by Nico Davidson

The Macmillan fundraiser event known as “Valkyrian Festival” is now being sponsored by Viking crafts online store Asgard Online, the Viking metal-wear specialists. Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson [Real name Nick Taylor] had the following to say: “We’re extremely grateful that Asgard Online have chosen to sponsor the event and it’s exciting that our first event has received sponsorship”.

Asgard Online will also be donating two t-shirts that will be used as prizes in the raffle at Valkyrian Festival.

For more information regarding Valkyrian Festival, click here.

Asgard Online have also organised Tyr’s first ever UK headline show. For tickets, go to: http://www.asgardonline.co.uk/

Vinlanders [Band Review]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27th July 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Vinlanders
Country: Canada
Genre: Folk Metal
Site:
Vinlanders @ Facebook

Folk Metal, originally a genre that originated in the United Kingdom, has slowly become an international genre with folk metal bands appearing in places like Finland, Argentina and Germany. In the snowy lands of Canada, folk metal is slowly on the rise and part of that rise are “Vinlanders”.

Like any decent folk metal band, Vinlanders have a brilliant use of melodic guitar riffs and folk instrumentation, as can be heard in their song “Duel Of Hundred Lights”. The folks are raspy and aggressive whilst the cleaner vocals have that hint of folk singing to them. The drum work is cleverly done, staying very consistent with the progression of the song. “Vinlanders (Defend The Land)” is a most interesting track to listen to as its introduction has a medieval-meets-Ensiferum sound and there is a use of what sounds to be lyrics in a foreign language which makes the song feel like a native folk song from the olden days. The only issue with these two tracks is that they don’t seem to be heavy enough to be folk metal, though they are brilliantly composed.

”Northern Sea Journey” is very solemn to begin with, due to the slow-paced and gentle introduction. Even the guitars are very solemn in their playing. The folk instrumentation is just brilliant and the clean vocals give the song a very majestic folk feel, though the harsher vocals don’t seem to blend well with the track. The song finishes with an immense use of acoustic guitars, flute medleys and clean vocals. “Exiled” is an odd track to begin with, as the introduction doesn’t quite seem folky though the accordion riff that follows does give the song a more folk-meets-pirate feel which is an improvement. The guitars and drums certainly play their parts well, contrasting with the accordion and harsh vocals. The biggest downfall of the track is that the clean vocals seem to overpower the music in sections, though this is no fault of the band’s.

”Vinlanders” certainly have the potential to be a great folk metal band and could easily be touring alongside the likes of Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Tyr in the near future. Fans of folk metal should keep an eye – and ear – out for this very talented band in their quest of bringing epic Canadian folk metal to the world.

Nico Davidson

Helheim – Heiðindómr ok mótgangr [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Helheim
Album: Heiðindómr ok mótgangr
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal/Viking Metal

Helheim, named after the world in Norse mythology, are one of Norway’s oldest and most revered Viking Black Metal bands. “Heiðindómr ok mótgangr”  is the follow up to their mini album “Asgard’s Fall” which was released last year. “Heiðindómr ok mótgangr” has been described as their most grand, epic and monumental release to date so far. It is also the first Helheim album since 1999 to feature only Norwegian lyrics.

The album begins with the slow and brutalising guitar intro of “Viten Og Mot (Sindighet)”, which is mixed in with some French horn, making for a dramatic yet violent introductory track. The guitar riff that follows is lighter but more fast paced. The drums are also fast paced but are weak compared to the vocals. In some sections, the French horn overpowers the guitars which is disappointing. The vocals, however, are just as they are expected to be – Aggressive, bloodthirsty and grim. The use of a guitar solo does slightly improve the track, though not by much. The other major issue with this track is that it’s too long and repetitive for the most part. The use of clean vocals is surprising though it doesn’t do much for the track. It is not a great start for the album.

”Dualitet Og Ulver” comes next, beginning with an acoustic guitar section which is soon replaced by a violent, window-breaking guitar section accompanied by drums. The vocals are still aggressive and sounding more powerful than the previous track. The drum sections seem to have improved a fair bit as well, though they are still overpowered by the guitars and vocals in some sections. This track is a vast improvement from the previous one. “Viten Og Mot (Stolthet)” begins with a similar intro to “Viten Og Mot (Sindighet)”. The vocals are a mixture of grim, narrated styled vocals and raw, aggressive black metal screams which isn’t a great combination. The French horn makes its return on this track, bringing a doomsday atmosphere with it. Musically, this is a great track, though, vocally it leaves much to be desired.

”Maðr” begins with an intro similar to the riffs found on Helheim’s first album. The vocals sound barbaric, angry and fierce, contrasting well with the murderous and savage riffs. The drum sections sound more beastly and heavy as well. There is a slow, soft riff half way through the track which combines the use of clean vocals and grim screams, making for a perfect break between the onslaught of the guitars and drums. The next track is “Viten Og Mot (Årvåkenhet)”. Like the previous track, it begins with an old skool Helheim-styled riff topped off the demonic screaming. The drums are more vehemently played whilst the guitars have more bite. There is also a calm riff about halfway through, adding some diversity to the track. The grim and ghastly narration reappears on this track, followed by some shouting, which certainly adds a new sound to the album.

“Element” begins with a very soft and slightly melodic intro. There is a use of strained, clean vocals which ruins the track slightly. The track gradually becomes heavy, improving it vastly. However, it is one of the poorer tracks of the album. “Nauðr” follows after, beginning with a melodic yet destructive intro. The guitars and drums are fast paced, in a traditional black metal way, whilst the vocals are full of aggression and violence, as is to be expected. The rest of the track, however, is mediocre.

Nearing the end of the album, comes “Viten Og Mot (Bevissthet)”. Straight away, the heavy brutality bombards its way along with a beastly guitar section and terrifying vocals. The drums are very acute and on time, though lacking in power. There is a lighter section which takes away a lot from the track. Though when the heaviness returns to the track, it sounds so much better again. The dramatic sound of the French horn can be heard towards the end, making the track slightly more enjoyable. The final track of the album is “Helheim 8”, which begins with an acoustic intro. The French horn makes itself heard on this track as well, combined with folk-styled clean vocals. “Helheim 8” is certainly an interesting end to the album.

”Heiðindómr ok mótgangr” has its good points and its bad points and they seem to even out an awful lot. The album combined the best of Helheim’s roots with a newer sound. The combination of the two differing sounds has potential once Helheim work out how to combine the two without ruining the quality of the music too much. All in all, it is an above average album which has room for improvement.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson