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"The man stood on a small hill, surrounded by grass fields, rocks and some small trees. Holding a sword in his both hands, he looked to the horizon. He looked for adventures that have yet to come, but surely will come. He had no name, people just called him Warrior. Whenever he travelled from village to village, he offered his warrior skills in turn for food, drinks and a clean bed. He had tortured many evil, and rescued many people. It was his living, yet it felt like it was his destiny. It was his destiny to go down in history as The Warrior."
To start from the beginning, Windir isn’t your casual black metal. Windir consist of high lead guitars, epic songs and lyrics based on mythology. Of course the screaming vocals, blast beats and highly non-commercial sound are present, but it really sounds unique among other black metal bands.
This band, on this album, is purely the dream of a mastermind named Valfar. A Norway civilian doing all the instruments with the exception of the clean vocals and the drumming. His intentions were to create a black metal band that didn’t fulfil to the stereotypical descriptions that almost every black metal band fulfilled to. The guitar riffs on this album sound very powerful, yet never it sounds too happy or cheesy. Vocals sound as several black metal bands sound, yet much less aggressive, more laid back.
The music sounds epic, no questions about it. When Byrjing starts, it’s clear to anyone. Although this song features only as an intro of the album, it’s over 3 minutes long. The songs itself don’t feature many guitar riffs. Most of the time, a song is based on 4 different riffs with a neo-classical lead guitar above it. However, Songs such as Svartesmeden Og Lundamyrstrollet and Saknet, both clocking over 9 minutes, keep changing within several seconds. The same way how a sludge metal band works. The riff stays the same, but the other ways to differ every single riff, such as different instruments, heaviness or harmonizing are used very on a very effective way. On this way, Windir creates one of the most epic sounds that is ever heard.
Arntor is an album consisting only of classics, good instrumentation and superb songwriting. There are practically no flaws to be found on this album. Yet it is not a classic. Although Arntor, Ein Windir and Svartesmeden Og Lundamyrstrollet are probably one of the best black metal songs that has ever seen the daylight, other songs are not always as appealing. Kampen and Ending are both excellent tracks, but no more than that. It doesn’t fulfil to the classic feeling other tracks have.
All this together, plus the minor details, such as the good lyrics, atmospheric production and the emotion, makes this album one of the minor pinnacle of the black metal scene. However, if you are looking for some normal satanic black metal, be warned. This band sounds nothing like other black metal bands. It’s an unique album, made by an unique band.
Top 3 tracks
1. Svartesmeden Og Lundamyrstrollet
3. Arntor, Ein Windir
This review was originially written on www.sputnikmusic.com under the name TheHamburgerman