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Sheer Bliss and Joy! - 100%

corviderrant, April 2nd, 2004

I am not too familiar with the whole folk metal thing, but this was/is a very good strong start for me and anyone else interested in the field. Asmegin are Norwegian, and sing in that language, but this didn't stop me from hugely enjoying this album. They employ a formidable array of traditional instruments that don't feel gimmicky at all, they are very well-integrated into the music on the whole, a good sign in my book. This shows me that they are not a joke band, that they are serious about their music, and this entire album just reeks of passion and feeling.

"Af Helvegum" starts the album off, and it goes from there into a series of beautifully-constructed gems of songs that will just take your breath away. My particular favorite is "Over AEgirs Vidstragte Sletter", which goes from trad metal to blasting death metal in parts with incredibly deep death grunts and stunning clean choir vocals coexisting in perfect peace. The solo section is fabulous--Queen worship to the max. The variety of male and female, death, blackened, and clean vocals throughout the album is consistently beautiful and well-balanced, and this makes me keep coming back for more. I might add that the production is perfectly balanced also, everything can be heard very well--but the drum sound gets entirely too obviously triggered on the blast parts. Which is a jarring contrast to the nice natural sound they have on the rest of the album, but it happens infrequently enough that it doesn't bother me much.

Don't let the foreign language lyrics stop you from enjoying this CD, because when you let it into your heart and soul, it will steal both away, leaving you its slave for good. And what else can you ask of an album but to take you away from all your troubles like that?