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One of the best folk metal albums ever! - 100%

Svarthavid, May 21st, 2009

I’m serious. This is one of the best folk/Viking metal albums in history. I really have nothing to complain about here.

The production is excellent. Everything is audible, nothing gets drowned or something. The musicianship is great. The drums can blast up to blistering speed, the guitars are nice, the keyboards, flutes and violins are marvellous, and the vocals. We have beautiful female vocals, excellent clean male vocals by none other than Lars Nedland (Age of Silence, Borknagar, Solefald). He is really a very talented singer. We also have an impressive harsh vocalist named Erik Rasmussen. He can alternate between high pitched black metal screams to deep, guttural death metal growls perfectly.

Basically, ásmegin plays a combination of black metal and Norwegian folk music, which they do perfectly. The lyrics are both sung in old Norwegian and norse, so even I, a Norwegian myself, really have a hard time understanding them. I like it though, because it’s quite original. The only other band I know of who have written lyrics in old Norwegian is Lumsk, but they are just giving new life to old poems, myths and such.

All of the songs are excellent, but some of them stand out. Track 1, Af helvegum is a short, but atmospheric opener. It begins with a black metal riff and harsh vocals, and then a quite melancholic female vocal part, which is just beautiful. It switches a bit back and forth for a while, and then a typical folk metal riff suddenly breaks in out of nowhere. I really love it, it’s a true party riff. It’s headbangable as fuck. Track 2, Bruderov på Hægstadtun is an excellent example of how good music can be if you combine folk music and black metal. The song also contains a beautiful clean vocal part by Lars. Other great tracks are Rondefolkets herskab and over Ægirs vidstragde sletter. The former for the combination of all the vocals at once, the latter for it’s excellent clean multi layered vocals by mr. Nedland. A track I forgot to mention is track 3, Huldradans – hin grønkledde. It’s a balad with some beautiful female vocals. Ok, I know I’ve used the word beautiful a thousand times now, but fuck that, they really are.

I recommend this album to any folk metaler. actually, any metaler in general.

Highlights: Fucking all of them!