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Vinlandic might! - 89%

VoV, January 5th, 2012

Three bands from North America are gathered on a split release, two (Tyranath and Eingar) of them are made of members of the American Pagan folk black metal band Wotanorden while the third one (Kvaathan) is from the Quebec soil and features members of Division Nouvelle-France (formally known as Octobre) with guest musicians. A few years ago there was an uprising in extreme bands who claimed their allegiance to ‘’Vinland’’, and these three were at the forefront.

The split starts with Tyranath and his song ‘’Blood Soil’’, a raging piece of epic black metal. You immediately get where this band comes from and where they are going. The band performs a form of old school black metal with some riffs that wouldn’t be inappropriate for a thrash metal band. The production is a definite throwback to the old days of black metal (in a good way) while it is still clear and every instruments are perfectly audible, even the bass! The guitars have this razor sharp sound to them and are actually what creates the atmosphere here. The drumming is excellent, both in execution and sound while the bass lines truly add to the melodies of the music. Tyranath’s voice is also noteworthy. They may not be the most original thing around today, but that’s not what it is all about. Standout tracks: The Forest, featuring some very nice clean vocals, and No Surrender, while not as good as the previously mentioned track, this one is particular as it brings the epic feel of the band’s music to an higher level. Tyranath’s part is definitely worth a listen and will without a doubt make you want to hear more. Tyranth’s part deserves a good 90%.

The second part is by the Quebecois band Kvaathan, who (rightfully) claim to play some ’’Pagan and militaristic black metal‘’. The band’s first song is ‘’Ces Ignorants Venus du Déesert’’, which starts off with an insane scream and a cool, yet simple guitar riff. Just like Tyranath, the production is quite clear and you can hear every instruments perfectly. What truly strikes me here is Kvaathan’s ability to play some extremely orthodox black metal while still managing to have originality on his own. Not one track is the same, all start in a different manner, and all have their different writing concept, but at the same time they all seem linked to each other. The vocals here are pretty intense and harsh and are a highlight of Kvaathan’s music (in my humble opinion). The guitars have a deep, almost cavernous sound while again still being quite clear like the albums overall production. There is even some nice, ‘’folksy’’ acoustic guitars on ‘’Notre Terre’’ and ‘’Hail Victory’’. My only complaint here are the drums. The drumming itself is pretty good and not simple, yet not extraordinary either (definitely not as vicious as the band’s new material). The real problem is in its sound, which is a weird half organic, half synthetic. The bass drum, snare, and toms all sound genuine (in a weirdly tuned way perhaps), but the cymbals, particularly the high hat and ride, have this weird, almost annoying synthetic sound. Once you get passed that, you’ll find some pretty cool music, but this is worth a mention. Standout tracks: Notre Terre and Soldiers of a Renewed Supremacy. For Kvaathan’s part: 85% (if it wasn’t for the drums, it would get 90).

The split closes with Eingar’s songs. While the beginning of the first track and the production will remind you of Tyranath, Eingar is a band of his own kind. The man himself claims his music is lunatic, and it definitely is. This is the most original band of the three. The music goes from orthodox to an almost psychedelic feel out of nowhere, and quite frankly, this is great. The guitar riffs are as diverse as one can imagine, from tremolo picking to palm mutes to strumming, all is there. The drums are an highlight here, probably due to the fact that Waffenscholtz (Eingar’s mastermind) is actually a drummer. The vocals are probably as insane as Kvaathan’s, though in a different way. The pitching ranges from high to low, clear and ritualistic, and like the previous two bands, add their own piece to the overall atmosphere. Production-wise, as previously mentioned, it almost sound like Tyranath, but that pretty much ends there. It is less cold, more atmospheric, and more cavernous. Standout tracks: Seize Stars from Grey and Pesters Dawn! Eingar’s part: 92%

I haven’t mentioned the lyrics as none of them are in the booklet. You can find some over the net however, but not all. All three bands have similar lyrical themes, though executed differently and with a different concept. All three are Pagan, so it is not hard to imagine what type of lyrics are found here.

To sum it up, this is a very good split that has somehow been overlooked by the more ‘’casual’’ black metal fan. I recommend it to pretty much anyone who enjoys black metal in general as it has pretty much everything that could please a BM fan.

Overall note: 89%