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My favorite Windir - 95%

GTog, December 23rd, 2006

This is my favorite Windir album, showcasing all the elements that made this band great. Is this Melodic Black Metal? Black Metal with melodic tendencies? Whatever it is, it’s good.

The album begins spooky and explosive, with a well rounded, full sound. I don’t know why, but a lot of Black Metal sounds tinny. Too much treble in the mix. Windir brings up the bass and drums, and adds a touch of reverb to the guitar parts. It all adds up to a great sounding album.

Some Black Metal acts use the keyboards primarily for melody, while others use them for mood. Windir doesn’t seem to rely on the keyboards for anything in particular, but rather uses them as part of the band. It’s not just a background instrument, in other words. ‘Blosdssvik’ for example contains a weird-ass keyboard interlude, while it shows up in ‘On the Mountain of Goats’ in the form of an evil sounding intro.

The rest of ‘On the Mountain of Goats’ sounds a bit experimental in parts, changing up between almost pure Black to traditional Heavy Metal. Can’t say it’s my favorite, but it sure sounds interesting.

The vocals are almost completely traditional Black Metal from beginning to end, but choral elements show up now and again. RIP Terje Bakken, good vocalists are hard to find. The most purely Black Metal track on the album is probably ‘Despot’. Reminds me a lot of ‘Hail Murder’ by Dark Funeral.
The standout track on Likferd is ‘Fagning’. This is a monumental centerpiece to an already great album. Over 8 minutes in length, it contains everything you could want from Windir. Roaring vocals, clean choral bits, guitar harmonization, galloping bass/drum rhythm overlaid by a fantastic folksy solo guitar… It blows me away. Not a second is wasted.

The final track ‘Ætti Mørkna’ serves as a sweeping, triumphant closer. Also quite a long track (not quite 8 minutes), and it could be longer. It could go on all day and I wouldn’t mind.

For any fan of melodic extreme metal ought to enjoy this. Also go check out Vreid, which is where most of the guys ended up after the death of their vocalist.

Because of the high replay value, and the fact that all the tracks are outstanding (well, 'Goats' puts me off a bit) I give this album a high score.