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Revenge of the Flames. - 98%

svartsind, October 4th, 2004

I’m still trying to recover from the discharge of sonic molestation that follows the depressive streams of compositions on “Sejr’s" first track, “En Falden Kriger”. Apparently, it shifts from harmony to head on grim and bleak ferociousness. Ynleborgaz is back... with a vengeance.

The origin for this man’s antagonism is the hordes of Christians, who has stamped out the Northern way of life, its background and its religious conviction. This is a voyage through a vindictive yet proud cosmos, where compassion and pity is as rare as “tr00” black metal bands these days. Only the demise of the invaders will satisfy Ynleborgaz’s mighty thirst for devastation.

Angantyr follows in the grand tradition of bands like Burzum and Nargaroth, as Ynleborgaz himself plays all the instruments. Same bands could probably be used as reference points, although “Sejr” has a more Folky/Viking Metal approach than the aforementioned bands. Still, the comparison is in my books a good one. Angantyr did actually start out as an ambient project (back in 1997 I believe), very much inspired by the “Filosofem”-era of aforementioned band, Burzum. Ynleborgaz is still very close to Varg’s most famous project. The music has that suicidal edge that stunned those of us, who has enjoyed “Filosofem”. Though the difference between “Filosofem” and “Sejr” lays in the way that Angantyr builds up his songs. Unlike Burzum this is not droning guitar, but actually a varied (for minimalistic black metal that is), it also contains that lovely Viking metal style that you can also enjoy Angantyr creating in one of his side-projects, Holmgang. According to Ynleborgaz, he claims to have been inspired by the Swedish band Domgård, although I must admit that I have sadly never heard any of their songs, so I can hardly tell if he has allowed his muse’s modus operandi to show on his record. What I do know is that Domgård was imprisoned for several church burnings, and the images of burning churches has been on almost all of Angantyr’s material.

The music is extremely well played, simple as that. Angantyr is a fabulous musician, and each instrument is spoiled. From the distorted and depressive guitars, to the pounding drums and the both subtle, yet at times dominating bass, Ynleborgaz makes sure to give each instrument a chance to shine. The album has an unusually good production (one of the best I’ve ever experienced on a black metal release), and Ynleborgaz’ vocals are picture-perfect. Every word is crystal-clear and easily understandable, and with such brilliant lyrics it would be a shame if they were washed out by bad production, or by frenzied high-pitched wails a la Dani the Castrato. Speaking of the lyrics, to travel into the vast abyss of “Sejr’s” lyrics, is to travel into a lair of hatred and disgust. Not often have I stumbled upon such manifested revulsion towards Christianity. Ynleborgaz kills priests and burns churches, as proud warriors makes a final stand. Lightning strikes and the hordes of radiance are fought off with axes, bitter determination and strength of mind. Reading the lyrics is like reading the ancient sagas of old, something that was probably Ynleborgaz’ intention all along.

Standout tracks are “Niddingdåd”, “Sølverpilens Kald” and my personal favourite “En Falden Kriger”. (Bizarrely) these are the three initial tracks, but the songs on the other half of the album are of almost the same stupendous excellence, so that really doesn’t matter at all.

Summing up, this is one of the most unwavering albums that I’ve had the delight of examining. Not a single tune lets you down, and even as I write this, I find myself headbanging to the magnificent hymns on this icy black (fucking) metal album.

This is simply an immense and enthralling record, and one that I think you should try to get your, hopefully ash-stained, hands on (did you remember to burn your daily quota of churches?).
The best of luck to Ynleborgaz, may his warrior spirit never perish!