Archive for Viking

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

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

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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

 

Germanic metallers Fjoergyn confirmed for Warhorns 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-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 Solheim-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 Solheim-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 CD, Folk, Metal 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 Solheim-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