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Unique and awesome Viking metal. - 87%

The_Boss, September 5th, 2008

Whoa, where did this come from? Norway's Asmegin releases their debut of intense Viking metal, basically being a mix of all sorts of things; black metal to brutal death metal, to all assortments of folk metal. All of this is executed extremely well and done with expertise, mixing and having a great sense of variety between the harsher Viking metal and more eloquent and beautiful and traditional folk metal.

Hin Vordende Sod & So has such a unique blending of styles it's very quite impressive, from more folk induced songs like Til Rondefolkets Herskab with the flutes, violins whatever being very easy going and grooving with the keys then exploding with ultra guttural death growls, then finishing up with strained shrieks found in black metal. Primary vocals are the low gutturals found from the main singer, but it's quite nice to see variety brought in with backing more high pitched shrieks as well as some of the best and most wonderful clean male and female vocals I've heard in a while. The opening of Over Aegris Vidstragte Sletter is quite awesome with a very epic Viking feel then trading off with the low gutturals once again.

The musicanship here is stellar, both guitarists know what they're doing creating powerful melodic solos, leads and rhythm work and at the same time executing heavy hitting riffs. Drumming on this could not be more heavy, fast and intense especially with songs like Bruderov Paa Haegstadtun and the insanely fast blastbeats and Vargri Veum starting up with a hugely epic beat reminiscent of Amon Amarth's more epic work leading into just inhuman hyperblast beats that rival early Kataklysm. The vocals are also a highlight as well with much diversity and all sorts of ranging lead/backing/clean/harsh vocal melodies and combinations, it's quite an enjoyable handful.

I find myself coming back to this album expecting a heavy hitting Viking metal album with plenty of diversity brought in by the plethora of guest musicians and instruments as well as the awesome mixing of styles and production. All the songs on here are listenable and not skip-worthy, instead you'll be listening all the way through. There aren't many real drawbacks, it's quite and intense listen the only problems I have with it is after several listens despite the wonderful variety in songs it does lose memorability. It's hard to find more intense and diverse Viking metal and with this debut Asmegin are sure to reach the top with the wonderful display of Viking atmosphere and metal. This is definitely worthy to every Viking's collection, especially fans of Amon Amarth, Bathory, Galar, Forefather and Thrudvangar.