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Kampfar > Mare > Reviews > nilgoun
Kampfar - Mare

No nightmares with mare! - 94%

nilgoun, May 12th, 2011

Mare seems to be a pun since it finally means nightmare which seems to be the perfect name for this record. The cover is different, odd, and outstanding. While the cover reminds me of an odd theater play, the people under those red sheets may be creating a queasy feeling in some of you.

As mentioned before, things are done in other ways on Mare and those changes can also be found in the songs. Tried and true fans of this formation do not have to fear anything as the songs are indeed different, but still familiar. Compared to previous records the atmosphere is condensed. In addition, the quality of the recording is way better than before (which could be led back to the well known Peter Tägtgren who has done the production etc.) and everything seems to be a bit duskier. They seem to have gathered some more skill on their instruments as they are playing better than before, especially the drumming which is full of variation and the guitar and keyboard sounds are convincing as well. So the self-titled opener is a dream-like introduction into a nightmarish record.

Those changes are, of course, applied on every song on the record and so the record glares through a thick atmosphere, well done orchestration, the keyboard sounds that are especially well dosed and never disturbing, and excellent songwriting. The lyrics are kept in Norwegian, except two songs (Mare and Blitzwitch) which are in English, snuggling with the atmosphere because of its cold sound. The songs are mostly played in mid-tempo, imparting something spherical to the atmosphere.

I will now describe one song in detail just to give a better impression of the record as a whole as all the songs have recurring quite good and stylistic elements. Ildstemmer starts with a slow piano melody that is kept until the other instruments and vocals kick in. The tempo is quite fast as the drums use double bass patterns from the beginning. The guitar sound is quite thick and Dolk’s vocals are quite cold. The refrain is accompanied by louder piano/synthesizer melodies while the rest of the cast keeps their style. In the middle of the song this pattern is broken up and the tempo throttles to a lower mid-tempo. The guitars are playing a slow melody accompanied by piano and quite a cool drum pattern. This insertion blends into the aforementioned pattern and the song ends.


There should not be said much more than that as Mare is a well thought-out record that presents straight black metal in the good old Kampfar style, of course with those little changes. There are some minor flaws like some melodies that are seemingly somewhat similar and therefore a slight lack of variation and, in addition, one or two somewhat immature ideas. You should buy the record anyway as it is a great piece of Norwegian black metal!
nilgoun /