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Windir > Sogneriket > Reviews > Lars_Stian
Windir - Sogneriket

Sogneriket - 80%

Lars_Stian, February 28th, 2017

Valfar’s first demo, ''Sogneriket'', is a very interesting release. Not only does it showcase the early stages of the legendary Windir, it also contains a vast variety of different styles.

One song that stands out quite a bit, is ''Krigaren sin Gravferd''. This track sounds very Burzum inspired, and the main riff sounds quite similar to the ending of Burzum's ''Spell of Destruction''. The next song, however, comes as quite surprising, as it almost sounds Green Day inspired rock, with a quite clear guitar tone and clean vocals throughout the entire song. And what's next? A melodic and symphonic, yet very heavy black metal song. The rest of the album follow a somewhat similar pattern, however the rest is instrumental (except for a few couple of screams here and there).

''Sogneriket'' is quite a journey, due to this variety of styles, however the one thing they all have in common, is that they all have, though slight at times, a viking/folk vibe to them. The song structure is also quite varying, however they usually follow one of two possibilities: Use of repetition, having very few riffs at all, or they have an abundance of riffs and are very progressive. Valfar, however, nails both of these methods, as I at no point felt the need to skip tracks due to boredom.

The bad production is almost impossible to ignore, and to the more casual metal listeners, it would probably ruin the entire experience, though annoying elitists such as myself find no problem with the production. It sounds almost as if this was recorded in a snow storm, as the sound is quite all over the place. Additionally, the production sounds somewhat compressed, however considering that this was a cheaply made demo from 1994, bad quality is to be expected, and it is by no means hard to make out what's played (for me at least)

I enjoy the vocals on this demo a lot, and they sound as good, or even a little bit better, than the vocals Valfar would deliver on later studio albums. They sound like a mix between Pest (Under the Signs of Hell era Pest) and pre-prison Varg Vikernes. And if that doesn't tell you to much; they sound very aggressive, and almost a bit tortured at parts.

One thing that can be quite bothersome is the fact that the instruments don't always line up; they can sound a bit out of time, especially the drums. This isn't to hard to ignore for the most parts, however on ''Dans på Stemmehaugen'', it becomes a bit annoying. This sounds more like a technical error than a performance error, so it is forgivable. It is also clear that Valfar is in the early stages of songwriting, and this most noticable in the synth. They don't really add anything, and they just kinda play what the guitar plays. But apart from this, there isn't too much bad to be said.

I would recommend ''Sogneriket'' to fans of Windir, however I probably wouldn't recommend it to those unfamiliar with Windir and viking metal in general. I would say that ''Sogneriket'' is to Windir what ''Wrath of the Tyrant'' is to Emperor.