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8 Viking War Hymns To Odin - 90%

Mad_Dog_Berserker, August 13th, 2005

If you're looking for an album that is epic, brutal, and old-school than I suggest you take a listen to Allegiance's Hymn Till Hangagud. This is probably the best Viking War Metal (the bands own description) that you will find anywhere and quite possibly one of the best albums in the entire genre of metal. The entire album is dedicated to the Allfather Odin and enough to make Odin open the gates of Valhalla for these Swedish warrior poets. Featuring amazing brutal drumming from legendary skin pummeler Fredrik Andersson of Marduk fame, fierce old-school guitar riffing from Bogge and Thornell, to go along with the insane vocals of Bogge. The album opens with "Hofdingadrapa", a song that starts off with a tribal beat by Andersson and an acoustic part and then builds up into some brutal riffing and fast brutal drums. The song ends with a memorable epic riff. "De Nordiska Lagren" is an excellent brutal song with superior drumming and a great slower middle part complete with a slight hint of a chorus in the background and some really great riffing. "The Third Raven" kicks in with hyperspeed tempo and drives over everything like a bulldozer. Once again excellent drumming and riffing dominate. "Himmelan Ramnar" starts out with what sounds to be an interesting bass line and then is copied with guitar riffing. A slower pace is used on this song compared to the first 3 tracks but it's still a great song. "Den Kristnes Dod" picks up the hyperspeed brutality again and although not the best song on the album it has a nice memorable riff towards the middle along with a guitar solo. "The Marsch of Warlike Damned" is a standout track that is extremely hymnish and contains some more memorable riffs and and drumming along with an epic part towards the middle with tribal style drumming, a cool bass solo and rousing vocals that really kick your ass. "Stridsfard" is probably the most sub-par song on the album because nothing really stands out but by no means a bad song. Finally we come to the last track entitled "Spjutsangen" which is one of the best songs on the album and a perfect song for the album to end with. "Spjutsangen" follows the same formula of the first track "Hofdingadrapa" starting off with acoustic guitar work building into brutality and then ending with rousing vocals, the sound of horses, and an epic riff. All in all I rate this album up with Satyricon's Nemesis Divine as a total masterpiece but an often overlooked (or underlooked) one. Hymn Till Hangagud is Hymnish Brutal Black Viking War Metal featuring elite drumming, old school brutal riffing with melody, and insane vocals and it will surely leave your ass kicked.