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Opening up with an almost hypnotic drum and giutar intro I knew this album would hit the spot as soon as I played it the very first time.
The genre we are dealing with here is traditional black metal with some rather catchy folk melodies. Riffs are plain and repetetive but still solid and captivating in the true veins of norwegian black metal. It is as if time stands still, one is directly transported back to the roots of black metal, it's almost a bit nostalgic in a way. The atmosphere is cold and filled with that pagan feeling, hammering forth like a war horse.
Mixing is high-quality with every one and each instrument clearly present for investigation in great detail. Everything is coated with a soft layer making the listening comfortable even at extreme volumes. The softness also contributes to the hypnotic effect; it makes your daydreams even more realistic and you're found staring empty into space while your thoughts wander off into the distant past. It's just wonderful black metal meditation material. I love it.
I can't say if there is anything bad about this release. Maybe if I try to be overly critic I would say that the vocals might be a bit dull at times, but still it's the characteristic sound of Dolk (meaning "dagger") and I would not like to change that. Maybe one can be so rude as to say that this album differs very little from other Kampfar releases, but what the hell, I just adore bands that keep their sound from year after year and still deliver exactly what you expect (as long as you expect it to be standard black metal, that is). Maybe it would earn 90-95% rating if there was some acoustic giutar and more clean vocals somewhere, but it goes pretty well without it.
This is accually folk black metal, or rahter black folk metal. Every now and then the mid-paced pounding suddenly shifts to a "mid-mid-paced" folk melody in the typical norwegian style. Limited ammounts of clean vocal atmospherical choires add yet another little extra pagan feel to the music.
So, if you are into black metal this won't disappoint you. It is also true that it grows on you. First you might find it too repetetive and lacking of variations, but after some listening you see what a tremendous "stick effect" it has on you. For me personally, this record molded into a part of my soul as soon as it flowed out of my speakers the first time. As I write this I hear the lead riff of "Til Siste Mann" (To the Last Man) over and over again in my head. No discomfort though, that riff is a killer!
Best off all with this record; not one single fucking synthesizer!