Friday, November 6, 2015
Svartsot : "Vaeldet
Getting caught up on 2015 as this album came out in February, It's funny having just reviewed the new Ensiferum , I have something to directly weigh this album again. I really liked their 2007 album " the Ravnenes Saga" , so things have changed since then namely their singer, this is vocalist Thor Bager's third album with the band. Vocally there is more of a death metal things going on. This album feels darker than Ensiferum thanks to this. The production is not bigger , but it is better. There is a thicker density to the guitars. The folk elements work with the music a little more effortlessly. They do hit that riding into glory swing with "Kilden" that finds the hobbit chorus joining in to dance around the bonfire. The guitars are well layered. Eventually a formula begins to present it self. The mid paced stomp of "Moder Hyld" that takes some dynamic dips shakes them out of falling into a frolicking rut.
"Markedstid" carries more of a medieval groove to it , but is still very much rooted in metal ,which is a balance these guys achieve well. They shift tones into a more organic and acoustic jig for "I Morkets" . The riffing on this album is air tight , with out question these guys are on top of their game. For this to be an instrumental it kept me engaged. The guitar harmonies are melodic , but still have balls to them. They get back into a more typical folk metal formula after this song, with the whistle melodies that all use the same intervals. The vocal passages are a little more aggressive than your average folk metal, until the female vocals come in a chill every one out. They continue to use a rather diverse ebb and flow with the folk scale being played in the background the only cliche.
This is a really solid release and fans of this genre will want to round it up from the 8 I am giving it. The folk scale can give the songs a somewhat uniform sounds and it often feels like it is trying to undermine what these guys are doing. If you are a guitar player who likes folk metal then it might even be a 10 for you. I can appreciate what these guys are doing and glad I gave this one a listen for sure.