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For anyone who appreciates true Viking Black Metal - 80%

twan666, March 24th, 2010

The sweet sounds from Hell itself are found within this Black Metal Viking styled album. Alvheim is a one man demon possessed genius named Alvar, who has craweled out from the bowels of Russia to bring to us his unholy creation "I Et Fjort Fortid."

Even though this album hails from Russia and it created by a Russian all lyrics here are in true Viking Norwegian. Vocals are eerie hellish growels accompanied by an atmospheric sound that brings it's listener to the right frame of mind and feeling bringing visions of brutal Viking battles and leaving the essence of the Norse Gods in it's mist. I love the accurstics in the forth and titled track "I Et Fjort Fortid". I feel it gives a nice break, creating a dreamy mood sort of like what a true succeed warrior would feel when it is time to journey into Valhalla which also prepares the mind for the 5th and final track which is a cover of Darkthrone's "Graven Takeheimens Saler". I really love this classic track and it is executed nicely here.

Alvheim is very successful with having managed to re-create that primative deep dark old school black metal style and has captured that cold grim Norwegian sound which all fans of original black metal will love. This artist is true and loyal to his worship of the old Norwegian sound and this influence is carried out on this album without a flaw. "I Et Fjort Fortid" is the debute album for Alvheim who should be proud of his master piece which is highly impressive when one also takes into consideration that this guy's first language is Russian but due to his love of old Norwegian black metal he has not only managed to bring back it's sound and atmosphere with this album but also has managed to learn and sing the language which is a far cry from his native tongue.

Yes I do highly recommend this album, it is a must for all fans of the original primitive Norwegian black metal scene as well as for anyone who appreciates and loves true Viking Black Metal at it's finest. This is a very stong album, if I must nitpick to find any fault with it, I guess I would have to say that the drum machine's synthetic sound is it's weakest link (at least I think it is a drum machine or drum program). The drums are the only thing that are not 100% convincing yet with the way all is mixed here this is a minor flaw and does not stand out that much when taking all else into consideration. Please do check it out.

Written for www.brutalism.com

Is This Supposed To Sound Viking ? - 50%

kimiwind, March 17th, 2010

Alvheim is a Viking Black Metal band from Sochi, Russia. The most famous Russian Viking Metal band that comes to mind is undoubtedly Nomans Land’s. Yes, Nomans Land’s play pure Viking metal, and they are good at it. Few Russian bands tried to follow in their footsteps, such as Trelleborg, Tilaris and Midgaard. The dichotomy here is, some make success and some experience awful failure. Alvheim is simply one of those bands that tried and failed. This debut mini-album was titled in Norwegian language I Et Fjort Fortid. The sole member of the group tried to release some Viking black metal music but, unfortunately, it didn’t hit the nail. This can be anything but a good Viking metal release.

Alvheim tries to blend black metal with Viking metal. If you listen to Scandinavian bands who play this genre you will feel they are actually playing it, but with Alvheim certainly not. Obviously, Alvar, the songwriter, has no idea how to play it properly. Singing in Norwegian is not enough, and writing lyrics about Nordic mythology is also not enough. This mini-album is a typical raw black metal release neither more nor less. You can’t realize yourself listening to a Viking influenced music at all. You can’t feel the Nordic atmospheres or hear epic melodies. The overall substance is generally lacking and weak. Here you wonder how on earth this was intended to sound like a Viking black metal release. The vocals are harsh and grim, yes, but it could have been much better if some clean vocals were added here and there, at least to leave some impressions that this has indeed some relation to the typical Viking influenced music.

The guitars here are okay, typical black metal fast riffs throughout the album, broken by some acoustic parts here and there. The drums role sounds fine as well, fast blast beats and decent percussion throughout the playing time. The bass is not really audible, this is due to the relatively weak production here, although it’s not so bad after all. The music is still listenable if you are not fussy.

To conclude, this release is not what it was intended to be. Not everyone has the means and talent to play Viking metal. Alvar should better label his band a pure Slavic name and play what usually Russian bands excel at. Yes, I’m pretty sure he can do better if he plays some pagan folk music. This EP is a failure for what it is. For the fans of black metal this is good enough, but for those who are expecting some exciting Viking black metal in the vein of Windir, Manegarm or Mithotyn, trust me, you will be disappointed.

Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 17-03-10
© Kimiwind