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The now defunct Sogndal band Windir was (almost) a one-man act at the time of this recording, but who can tell by listening to this album? Valfar does a truly great job composing, arranging and performing. All of the songs have their own brilliance, and I certainly can't find (m)any flaws here.
Byrjing/Arntor - the accordion intro is an excellent start to this album. Valfar, being a former accordion master (hehe), sets the tone. The transition over to Arntor is flawless and brilliant. And what is there to say about Arntor, ein Windir? Quite simply THE integral song in the Windir discography. From this song the web of Arntor, King Sverre and Battle of Fimreite gets spun over the next albums. The scream at 6:18 is one of the best I've heard. Extremely passionate, and even more so in a live setting.
Kong Hydnes Haug - This track is overlooked by many, but I really can't see why. Lots of great riffs, and the usual Windir blend of calm parts and agression.
Svartasmeden og Lundamyrstrodlet - Another Windir classic that just grows on every listening. By some reckoned to be the very best Windir song. I have it at #2. The part that starts at approx 6:16 is possibly the most beautiful piece of music Valfar wrote.
Kampen - My least favourite track on the album. Not to say it's poor in any way, it just gets wedged in between the two greatest Windir tracks ever. Tough luck... :) The lyrics deal with keeping the small town mentality and local dialect, and not get influenced by city folk. Certainly a subject that strikes close to my heart.
Saknet - As Valfar himself said: "When hear this song I just want to find my shotgun and shoot myself, and I hope you feel the same way too." Amen. The lyrics are brilliant, the guitar melodies are brilliant, and it's all so very depressive and sad, yet partially fast-paced. The mix of clean and black vocals at 4:20, and that is repeated a couple more times, are so perfectly done it almost pains me to listen to. And what about the guitar that kicks in just before the 8:00 mark, and chirps on for the next 50 seconds? Perfection.
Ending - A relatively straightforward blackish cover of a Norwegian folk tune, but with personalised (and unpublished) lyrics. Excellent closer.
I have no choice but to give this album a score of 100%. Saknet, Arntor and Svartasmeden pretty much guarantees that score on their own. The rest is also very, very good.