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Valhalla uber alles! - 75%

doomknocker, July 26th, 2010

There have only been a few folk/Viking metal acts I’ve come across that’s bitten the big one like no one else…none that I’d wish to name check for fear of reprisal, but as it stands I’ll state that, for what it’s worth, a good 80-85% of the genre is ripe with awesomeness and musical niceties, far from being the gimmick genre others not of their ilk makes them out to be. We all need to have some fun in the metal world, lest things get so serious that the causticity

And with that said, I took to that mentality when dealing with this ADORNED BROOD act…

ADORNED BROOD’s “Noor” seems to be more horned helmet than tri-cornered hat in terms of the musicality, which tackles the heavier and more battle-hearty variety of things with that much-needed dancey melody thrown in for good measure. In fact, a good portion of the music heard on this disc has a harsh, thrash metal twinge to it, giving the battleship an extra bout of intensity to push it headlong into future conquests. That increase in intensity is definitely for the better in my book, as I wouldn’t put it against a German band to have a militarized heaviness in play, where the more head-banging moments act as bridges for the folksy and, dare I say, happier moments replete with medieval instrumentation and bouncy melodies. Strangely, this sort of combination works well together, with not one element overlapping the others present, where havoc crying guitar/bass riffs, harmonic leads, symphonic keyboards, realistic strings and woodwinds and form-fitting drum beats churn out some pretty wicked-bad hymns of pure metal monstrousness that’s European to the burned and chewed up bone. However, when it comes to the vocals, we get something quite different than your usual Viking group…rather than relying primarily on booming choirs and harsh screams, ADORNED BROOD instead give us a strange combination of Dani Filth shrieks and Lemmy-style grinding clean vocals with a twist of metalcore rant/raps thrown in for good measure (or confoundation), with a few other decently done choirs here and there where I’m sure they’re deemed fit song by song. I’m all for their attempts at their differentiation in the vocals department, but if I may say, there are plenty of moments where the shrieks are more of a bothersome deterrence than the madness made vocal they were originally perceived to be. But nevertheless, such fine musical examples such as “Am Grunde des Meeres”, “Noor” and “Schiff der Toten” are worth all sorts in their fantastic riffs and movements, making them one of the better newer acts of their ilk to come storming from the Northern seas.

In the end ADORNED BROOD have plenty to show in their metallic wares. Place these guys within the 85% bracket of awesome folkish metal and blast ‘til Fimbulwinter comes to claim us all. Horns up!