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No Viterzgir, no problem - 95%

Viking_Horde, August 1st, 2011

After hearing that Kroda had parted ways with longtime member Vitergir, I was concerned about the band's future. Kroda is a band that I've come to really enjoy listening to, and losing 1/2 of the creative force behind this band didn't sit well with me. Well, after listening to this album, I can rest assured that Kroda is going to be ok after all.

The first track gives the listener a taste of the changes that Kroda have gone through since their last album. There is more integral keyboard to build the atmosphere. It's a welcome addition because it doesn't get overbearing, just enough to add the right touch. Then after a minute or so of crushing black metal, they reassure the listener with the familiar sound of speed picking and then the patented Kroda flute interlude. I think Kroda has the best use of flute in any folk metal band and I needed to hear it asap. 3 more long tracks of this style follow, each with their own distinct nature. The album finally ends with an atmospheric song that will certainly be added to my walking/driving in the winter playlist.

I am very satisfied with the way this album turned out. The new keyboard atmospheric elements are integrated in a way that never interferes with the core music, and the production quality is also refreshing without being overpolished. The vocals are cleaner and have more range, which I think is a wlecome change. And there's finally some acoustic guitar, which I thought for a long time would fit well with their music. I actually expected a much more drastic change from them but that is not the case. There's still plenty of flute and guitar moments that make you go "That's so Kroda!" I'm not sure if Eisenslav did this whole thing or not, but if he did it has to be one of the best one-man albums i've ever heard. I can't wait for the next album now.