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Warseid presents a rather unique blend of symphonic black metal and folk metal on their new self-released EP, Where Fate Lies Unbound. Themes of Norse mythology typically come from the Scandinavian regions, and Warseid has to be one of the very few bands that I encounter so far from America that deals with these themes, and it would be interesting to see how they handle it.
The results are surprisingly good. The band starts off rather calming and soothing, with folkish acoustic guitars giving way to equally melodic lead guitar lines as the band presents their fusion of black and folk metal to the listener. The instrumentation on the album are impressive, as each of the members are given plenty of air time to display their craft. For instance, the synths on the album alternate between providing an epic feel to the music and more melancholic atmospheres, and the band displays this right from the beginning with Shackles Through Sand. Also, Joe’s lead playing are rather soothing as well, often focussing on the melodic aspect rather than on showing off through flamboyant techniques, fitting to the overall feel and atmosphere of the music on Where Fate Lies Unbound. Furthermore, Joe handles the vocals in Warseid as well, and apart from the high-pitched shrieks, he also handles clean vocals on the release, and though not particularly a fan of his clean vocals, they do suit the quieter moments well.
Despite the Nordic themes of the band, on tracks like Frost Upon the Embers, there is a somewhat oriental feel in the orchestration that is present in the music, and the somewhat festive feel contrasts the mood that the rest of the instruments portray, causing a pretty interesting and charming result. There are also progressive moments that are incorporated into the music of Warseid, such as the shifting in time signature, and this, along with the symphonic elements that are present in the music all point towards bands such as Ihsahn, though there is a heavier folk influence over here.
Overall this has been a rather stunning release, and the atmosphere in the music makes for rather easy listening even for those who aren’t fans of black metal.