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Finally, True Viking Metal - 88%

IskallaKus, May 7th, 2006

Well, firstly I must comment on the artwork. It is definitely astonishing, and summarizes norse mythology better than any artwork could do. The album´s story is based on the viking beliefs, with an original protagonist. Worth having it especially for it´s cover artwork.
The album itself is a perfect example of Viking power, but sometimes it can be a bit boring or dull. Besides that, it creates an adequate epic ambient, with war sounds and very strange noises.
I find Quorthon´s voice especially beautiful and varied on this album. You won´t hear any grunts or angry screams (and, personally, I find him much more original in this viking style). The choruses are also, as always, very well suited.
I still find a little influence of Quorthon´s satanic addiction.

The Intro is one of that strange Bathory tracks full of those "strange noises", that actually gets you into the epic ambient. Followed by Blood on Ice, a long track with nice riffs and the chorus following the melody. Man of iron is addicting, being simple but strange and charming. Pity that it has to be so short. I find One Eyed Old Man´s music not suited for the calm lyrics, but it has that strong viking furor, except when old Odin speaks. The Stallion and The Sword are a bit similar for me, but The Stallion is much better in musical terms. The Woodwoman has a nice intro and Quorthon vocal performance is one of the best of the album (ah, but he shouldn´t criticise the poor wooodwoman, it isn´t her fault to be so ugly as Quorthon says). The Lake... there are some differences in opinions about this track. Some people think it is one of the worst of the album, and others, the best. I´d go for the second option. Here I can find the real Norse Spirit, the sorrow and kind of evil; that sticky melody that creates images of malevolent Gods and beautiful reminiscents of the Scandinavian landscapes. Gods of Thunder, of Wind and of Rain is very fast, but lacks that spirit, and the vocals are not so clear as in the other tracks. However, it has much power and a very nice riff near the end, worth listening to the song. Beauty´s peak is reached by the acoustic The Ravens, but it has the same problem as Man of Iron: TOO short. Finally, The Revenge of the Blood on Ice sounds similar to Blood on Ice, but better. I don´t have much to comment on this last track except that it is a good ending for the Album. However, a final acoustic track (not another Outro, please) would have been great.

Well, this is what I have to comment on this great Album. A must-have for viking fans like me. Not very good for headbanging, but for reassuring the love or respect for the civilization. Hail Quorthon, Son of Loki!