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Haavamal III - 95%

Starkweather222000, February 25th, 2009

"Twilight of the Gods" kicks in after a minute of silence. After that minute of silence, your soul is his for the taking. When he returns it to you, you'll be remade as a man, as a human being. Take my word for it.

Quorthon is genius and we weren't expecting to find that out so late in his career as a musician, I mean, he alone, meaning Bathory alone, created (almost) everything black metal is about. And dropped out of satanic metal, years before everybody else start to copy his techniques. Then he decided to create another metal genre. Let's call it....epic metal. More of a genre derived by thematology and feeling than musical forms, but nevermind. What did you say? Manowar? Oh c'mon guys. Manowar are good. But we're talking Ragnarok, Haavamal and golden halls here. Stay in school, Yank.

"Twilight of Gods" is the third and final part of the metal Haavamal, and, if you ask me, it is even better than the previous two ("Blood Fire Death" and "Hammerheart"). Fullest of feeling and dramatic sounds, fullest of ground-breaking melodies and those wonderful, out-of-tune, "oh oh oh" vocals (intro on "Through Blood By Thunder"). Anyone familiar with the band's music is unlikely to be disappointed by this, because "Twilight Of The Gods" is Quorthon's most mature and complete musical creation. More melodic than the other two albums, but more driven and clear in its purpose. What purpose you ask? The purpose of making you understand what this whole Valhalla thing is about.

Because you see, Quorthon knows that all this thematology is a myth. He doesn't to pretend to be the mightiest Viking warrior around (Amon Amarth-fucking WHO?), he just traces the myth up to its source and produce some ideas and theories about yourself and the world, derived from the Viking culture. Just read the lyrics of the title track-but do it cautiously. He is even talking about spaceships and technology, he is just making connections and metaphors to the Viking culture and mythology to make you understand his point of view about today, about existence.

So the next time you will let this one spin on your deck, have in mind that it's not supposed to be "Viking metal". It is sophisticated, cultured, socially, politically and emotionally touching music. Head to toe, beginning to end. Quorthon was not great because he was the toughest satanist around, then the toughest axeman around. He was great because he never took any of this seriously, but rather used it to deliver his message to the world. His message about innovation, insight, personality and human existence. But what is wrong with me and I started using past tense? Quorthon never actually died.