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Five drunken Norwegian guys + true epic spirit + metal + tons of folk tunes = Viking Metal! If you’re new to this genre (and even if you’re not), this little wonder of an EP sums up all you have to know on this topic.
Three songs, three different sides of the genre. The title track is a mid-tempo epic march featuring a main riff reminding a lot of Bathory Viking era, an awesome bridge sung in clean vocals and above all pounding drums sounding like the mighty hammer of Thor - if Thor had ever played metal. Even if no traditional instruments are used here (unlike in bands like Moonsorrow or Finntroll), extensive use of keyboards manages easily to re-create the Nordic folkloric atmosphere. Well, the perfect song to gather your sword and helmet and go burning down your neighbour’s house.
The second track lacks a bit of structure, sounding more like the random juxtaposition of metal and folk elements, slow and faster parts, harsh vocals (more aggressive than on the other songs) and choirs of (obviously) drunken Vikings, than like an actual song. Even if this track without a single riff must not have taken too much of the band’s time to be written, it’s still done in pure Viking fashion – so, this still rocks. The last track, certainly the best of the three, fortunately has a different dimension. That must be the song where Moonsorrow, which at that time might have released only one or two demos, took all its influences, as actually it sounds A LOT like Moonsorrow – you know, these mid-tempo, both ultra-bombastic and melodic tracks which never seem to end, backed by tons of keyboards and folk elements (it’s the only song on the EP where acoustic guitars are used), epic choirs, pounding double bass, Norwegian lyrics and the repetition of some traditional leitmotiv – simply gorgeous.
Highlights: Far, Far North, Naar Aftensolen Rinner