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Warrior, my ass... - 15%

Kruel, October 7th, 2008

"Windir" apparently means "warrior" in the Sognamal dialect. But Wiindir the band is the farthest thing from a warrior -- this is more like a plastic soldier produced from a factory. First, the idea directly opposed to the spirit of warrior. Sugar-coated folk melodies delivered in lead guitar is the exclusive idea of the album. There is no other substance here; that outer layer of sugar which cloaks the internal lack of any material is what this entire thing is. Viking metal? Hahahahahaha. Never before has the legacy of the Vikings been so thoroughly desecrated. This is melodic folk metal at its most wimpish.

The execution is also anything but a warrior's conduct. The production is polished and lifeless like any other album of this day. The drum programming has no thought put into: totally bland constant beats. The bass is mostly inaudible, and the keyboards are mostly in the background, having a standard sugary tone when they do temporarily assume the role of a lead instrument. Rhythm guitars are really true to their basic role: just shutting up, not playing any riff worth anyone's while, and letting the lead guitar fuck up everything with its reprehensible melodies that even a 5-year old will find to be a childish mockery of the Vikings. Harsh vocals are standard black metal vocals devoid of any characteristic, minus the aggression and hatred that an average black metal vocalist would possess to any small extent, while clean vocals are ball-less generic folk chants. Cyclic songs are extended way beyond what substance each song has to offer (if there is any), pointlessly wandering just for the sake of being epic in length, when they are simple in structure. The execution is simply this: mediocre and cowardly.

At least musicians like Ihashn had the courage to relentlessly pursue their mission of creating the worst possible sound. Valfar lacks even that breed of abominable courage; with an idea twice as terrible as Ihsahn's he actually fails at creating something half as offensive, simply because he plays everything so safely. While Arntor is still offensive, the offense is dealt with such a weak force. As a result, the predominant feeling toward this record is contempt, rather than hate.