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Epic with a rather original concept - 95%

Darkwinterdweller, March 19th, 2007

Windir was a band of incredible talent, one of the best black metal bands to have surfaced in the late nineties. This band was formed by a young man by the name of Terje Bakken, better known as Valfar. Valfar was a man of pride. He had great pride in his country, and he wanted to let that be known. Windir in short, fuses black metal with folk music. While the concept on paper seems like it would not work, this could not be any farther from the truth.

The music is quite distinctive, sounding like raw black metal, enhanced with folk, which is calculated perfectly. The songs are fast paced and vicious, with some of the best vocals I've heard in black metal. There are many keyboard preludes into folk passages, where session vocalist Cosmocrator chants. The title track is probably the best example of this. It starts off very fast paced, and then breaks off into a slow keyboard passage that sounds very sinister, and then proceeds back to a fast tempo. Most of the songs follow this pattern in some form of another. There is much speed with chaotic nature to be found on here, namely on the tracks Black New Age and Dance Of The Mortal Lust. The basic instruments are done well, but the keyboards provide a lot of the structure. There are also many atmospheric moments to be found, namely in the end of the track Journey To The End. There seems to be a little something for fans of all genres of extreme metal to be found on here in some form or another. The lyrics, all written by Valfar, are mainly about fantasy, myth, ancient tales, and misanthropy.

This album is easily my favorite of the four Windir albums, although they are all quite good. I would recommend this to any fan of black metal. It's too unfortunate that Valfar had to die at such an early age. Buy this album at all costs, that is, if you can even find it.