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Viking Metal - 84%

Danthrax_Nasty, May 15th, 2004

From the first piano line, which repeats a bit, but is intermingled with another piano based riff, and also has a nice synth backing you get your first taste of the albums begining feel. A great short intro that holds a dreamy, sorta warriors ballad type quality that soon gives way to the bands full power.

Some accents and an odd little horse noise kick off track two (Sankarihauta). The piano line from the intro is repeated in some parts on the second song, and this is sorta a typical thing for this album, repetition that is. An awesome high pitched scream is also another element which helps to add to how much this song kicks ass, but there really arent many other parts that contain a similiar wail. I think one of the draw back to this song and album on a whole is the riffing's repitition, which does feel very epic, but can get boring also, but only takes a minimal amount of plesure away. A highly keyboard oriented sound is first showen here, and you can expect it to last the albums length.

A chugging riff opens (Kylän Päässä) with sounds of metal clashing behind it, as the drums and keys help fill the sound. An odd noise is present behind the short acuostic part that follows the intial intro riff, and then leads into some well done vocal patterns, and a killer thrashy riff. The keys are very prominant, and give the bands sound more power than if left untouched. There is a break in this song that goes into a drum and keyboard sound, short it may be, but I think this is one part that should have been left out (like a few other parts soon to be mentioned). Epic like the last tune, but lacks a bit in some areas, like the claping accompanyment part before breaking into a melodic thrashy riff slightly reminiscent of some Amon Amarths stuff. There are some very kick ass parts like when the vocals are sung clean, which pack a meaty punch of feeling, but in a small dose since its a short part of a long song. I think a little less repetition would have done a lot to shorten the songs, and add to the listening experience, but probably would have taken away a bit from the epicness, so its a bit hard to say.

I enjoyed the begining to Hiidenpelto... alot and there is some great melodic building within the music as the song progress into various riffs. The clean vocal chorus accompanyments are quite entertaining in their delivery, but as soon as that part ends it goes into a riff that should have been left of this. This could bave been the best song on here, but I was highly disappointed with one short riff break when the guitars play a riff that almost sounds Nu-Metal (actually reminds me of a few riffs by the band Kanker). I just cant get over that one riff, even though its one of many, its easily a point were I go "What the fuck!!" and ask why did they have to add that. Every other part of the song is well done (especially the acoustic parts), epic metal to a degree that it stands out, but as I have mentioned it also lacks in a few areas, but these guys are from Finland, so what can I say.

Opening up acousticly, with the same background noise on a few other parts that also contain clean guitar on this album, this shortly there after breaks into the bands full metal assaulght. Some nice lead work comes in right before some great thrashy accents, or break into another riff, that in some ways reminds me of Lamia by Lord Belial but with trying to achieve a totally different sound, and merely breifly. There are also some parts on here that just dont catch me at first, possibly cause there are too many riff breaks, but as the full band comes in the sound is drasticly improved. Again clean vocals are used, and sung damn finely, but are layered on a tired pattern and dont really build into anything. Great leads are on here, but in short tiny doses.

The sixth song, Sankaritarina, opens with winds, slowly bridgeing to crackling noises and quite synths that grow louder. Again the full sound does some pounding accents for a measure before going into a slower riff that all the others so far, and catching quite a melodic tone when the clean warrior choir comes in. Repetition does the riff to death, but in its defense there are different accompanying instruments, voices that do help. There is also a part on here were there is a bunch of voices, not really in any pattern, that just come in sounding original, and presenting a truelly original sound (which I cant say to many other parts of this album encompass).

This is worth the time to check out if your a fan of Melodic Viking Metal done in a very native sound (they are from Finland and sound like it). Good metal, lacking in some areas, but still possessing an epic Viking sound that is great to drink a chalice of mead to. Recommend to fans of the style, but not for everyone. I also must say that the layout and cover are very well done, and quite an interesting aspect of the overall package.