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Folk the way it should be done. - 95%

Minion, January 17th, 2004

Fuck Elvenking. They can't write folk metal worth shit. They try and act like they know what they're doing, but for all the trouble they go through they should try actually learning how to write something halfway decent for a change. And I know just who should teach them.

You want something melodic that makes you dance? This has it. You want something that gives your inner Lord of the Rings fan a chill? This has it. You want something that makes you headbanging and worship the black goat of Mendes? THIS HAS IT. Fenriz pulls out some concepts on this album that I didn't even know you could do. Like, mixing folk and black metal and not having it utterly suck.

Fenriz is a good musician, and he plays some good guitars and bass and drums on this. But it all takes a backseat to the vocals. You've heard of Garm? Fenriz sounds just like him. His vocal style is all-encompassingly operatic, but he also breaks into some truly sick and disgusting black metal rasps, too. He has a lot of talent in this field and I can't believe it's going to waste, now that he's no longer recording with Isengard anymore.

Now, those expecting a bastardized Darkthrone should download a song or two and listen to see if you like it, because this really doesn't sound anything like that at all. Sure, there are a couple of black metal songs, but for the most part it's folk, with highly melodic vocals and that black Druidistic feel. This may not appeal to everyone, but if it appeals to you, you will truly enjoy this.

The best tracks are Neslepaks and Landet Og Havet. The former is a very Nordic-sounding song, like something the Vikings would sing around a campfire, or whatever it was they did. The latter does not have any vocals, but it has a VERY good vocal performance that more than makes up for its lack of instrumentation and its short length. The other good songs are I Kamp Med Hvitekrist and Thornspawn Chalice, the latter being one of the aforementioned black metal songs.

If you're looking for something folky and evil and not Elvenking, buy this, or download it, I don't know if they sell it anymore. This is truly an underappreciated album by an underappreciated band.