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The Epitome of Viking Metal - 95%

WilliamAcerfeltd, May 12th, 2007

Despite what many people would say, I do not believe this is Windir's crowning achievement. I would say that would have to go to one of their later sounds, either 1184 or Likferd.

Valfar was a very talented musician. Although he did not play all the instruments on this album, this album was composed entirely by him. For many (including myself) this album started the whole fandom of Windir, as all of their previous releases before this are highly inaccessible. It is easy to see how this album got most Windir fans. The album contains very fast complex songs, likewise with the drumming and all other musical elements on this album (for instance the synths). However, there are no real easy listening/intermission parts on any songs on this album. However, the album contains Windir's only easy listening song: The Beginning.

Throughout the entire album, the album switches from both excellent to just good songs. For instance, Arntor was an excellent song but then the album progresses to Kong Hydnes Haug, which is only a good song and so on. This is why I do not believe that this album is the jewel in the crown of Windir's achievement; nevertheless, however, it is a solid piece of black metal.

The vocals here are slightly more high-pitched (both clean and black metal wise), probably because Valfar was younger on this recording. This album has more clean vocals than any other Windir release I have heard. This may or may not be a good thing for you, depending on how much you like clean vocals. This album is about 60% black metal vocals and 40% clean vocals. Unlike their later albums, which were more like 85% black metal vocals as to 15%, clean vocals.

It really was a shame that Valfar died at such a young age. He really had a lot of potential and in my opinion, was yet to reach his creative prime. If he had or not, we will never know, but what we do know is that he left behind a great musical legacy. Personally, I think the guys from Windir should have contacted Vratyas Vakyas, the guy from Falkenbach to fill in for Valfar, as he plays a very similar type of music to Windir. He certainly would not put Valfar to shame. To any who is new to Windir, I would suggest you get yourself a copy of this.

Conclusion: The above is recommended for purchase. If, it is however, your first Windir album, I suggest you download it.

ASIDE: You could be forgiven for thinking this is a concept album, as there is an intro song called "The Beginning" and a song at the conclusion called "Ending". Furthermore, there are two songs on the album Kampen (The Struggle) and Saknet (the longing), which seem to be related. However, this is not the case."