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VIKING METAL?!?! - 55%

elfo19, February 8th, 2009

I noticed when I was checking out this album that not a single person gave it a low review. Maybe it's just because nobody who dislikes this album is intelligent and can write a decent review, in which case I question my own intelligence for giving it a 55. None the less, I don't like this album.

I haven't been a fan of viking metal for that long, so I've just recently discovered a bunch of great bands. Bathory is one of the first groups that comes up when talking about the genre and are frequently crowned as the first viking metal band. While I'm not denying that they were the first to popularize the genre, I just think that a lot of more interesting things have happened in the genre since this album's release. I'm sure when this album was first released it was groundbreaking, and one of the most original metal albums ever, but now does it serve as anything more than a historical note?

For me, no. I can't listen to this and enjoy it more than a modern viking metal album. But now, on to the actual music. I know that this is going to really piss a lot of people off, but for the most part this just sounds like thrash metal to me. You know, the kind of stuff that Slayer revolutionized. The only differences is that Slayer decided to cut out the crap. For example, many of the songs on this album are very lengthy, but for no purpose. They start with a minute and a half of wind sound effects, then have a two minute intro with plodding power chords that don't do anything and then there's a five minute song and an outro with pointless sludge. Now, wind sound effects and lengthy songs works if you are a progressive band but when the whole purpose of your music is to sound like drunken vikings and be as brutal as possible the excess is not needed. Keep the songs short, heavy and to the point and it works better.

The band sounds skilled enough but they just don't do anything. They thrash around make loud noises and scream, which must be good fun for the musicians, but in the end isn't musically inspired. There are moments that are nice when everything clicks and it just sounds awesome, but they are few and they are usually stuck in the middle of ten minute long duds.

To conclude. I'm sure this was a breakthrough during the time it was first released, but as an album in the 21st century it fails, at least for me, to deliver anything I can't already get, but better with a band like Ensiferum. My advice, give it a sample on the computer and see what you think. You might like it, you might not, and either way makes sense to me. I however think that this is a nice addition to a metalhead's collection for it's historical aspect, but not really something to value as musically rewarding.