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I don't get the hype... - 56%

Crushader, November 2nd, 2008

Weird. That’s the word first coming to mind when listening to Ásmegin’s debut, Hin Vordende Sod & Sø. Ásmegin is a Norwegian metal group that combines black metal with folk/viking metal elements and their debut introduces new streaks to this style. Unfortunately, they fail to build a solid entirety and stumble badly when trying to underline their creativity.

The biggest problem here is that HVS&S is almost a chaotic album. I can’t find much substance that isn’t too difficult to delve in. Music consists mainly of brutal black metal parts, strange folk-passages and lame mix of the aforementioned. Black metal-features are sometimes too close to "kvlt" and though decently well played, leave me disturbed all the time. Supporting folk metal-side of the album is diverse and occasionally radiates a mystical feeling that, no doubt, fits the themes well. Still, I don’t like the obscure structures and odd features that are crammed inside every minute of the music. Both quest female vocalists’ voices annoy me too often ‘cause they sound like they’re trying to match the music too eagerly and the baby’s cry that is used a couple of times, strikes me with uncomfortable shivers. If the guys of Ásmegin have wanted to make the listeners nervous and the music haunting, they’ve succeeded (which isn’t, I must admit, easy thing to do) but they have also convinced me to avoid them.

However, every track on HVS&S isn’t totally bad. The first too songs work well and are pretty good pieces of interesting folk metal. But after those the album starts to get deeper into the chaotic storm of decent music. Every time I listened to HVS&S I became more confident about the fact that I’m not going to give even a single try to Ásmegin’s upcoming sophomore release, Arv, unless my taste within metal changes notably. If you are a fan of obscure, chaotic music and folk/viking metal doesn’t disturb you, then feel free to try this. But if you’re not, then turn your direction, this isn’t for you.