Wulfgar // Midgardian Metal
Rating: 3.0/5.0 —Entirely enjoyable, but sort of lacking something… Oh, right, originality
Label: Trollzorn / SMP Records
Websites: wulfgar.se | myspace.com/wulfgarse
Release Dates: EU: 19.03.2010 | US: No date found

The guys from Wulfgar and I have something in common: we both really love Amon Amarth. I mean, I’ve been an Amon Amarth fan since I first heard “Victorious March” all those years ago and I’ve just never looked back. I’ve purchased every one of their records since I started listening to melodic death metal and, let’s face it, I’ll probably keep listening to them for years to come until I’m old, bitter and bored with everything that I used to like (it’ll happen: then I’ll become Angry 12 Tone Jazz Guy). The difference between my love of Amon Amarth and that of the guys from this Swedish quintet is that I didn’t start a band…

OK, now that I’ve gotten the shit talking out of the way, let me say something: these guys are actually really, really good at what they do. They pump out excellent, mid-paced melodic death metal with the vocal styling of an epically bearded Swede named Emil (who incidentally does actually sound like Johann Hegg from Amon Amarth). The tracks are heavy, with great chuggy riffs and totally solid melodies which hook you in right away. You spend the majority of your time nodding your head, and I’m sure this stuff is totally awesome live. I mean, Midgardian Metal has it all: addictive melodies, fun riffs and a style that I just love to listen to.

The band has a bit of variation, as well—the track “Norsemen of Steel” sees the band wander into power metal territory on the chorus, and there are even some pretty folk metal parts on here as well. In my opinion, the band would do well to think about expanding these parts of their music. Because while I think that they’re a good band, there is definitely a part of me that wants a little bit more than an excellent audiocopy of an already loved and famous band. These guys obviously have the talent to write solid metal, so they should use that talent to expand their sound a little bit beyond the boundaries of their current sound.

To fans of the style, this record will be thoroughly enjoyable. If you can’t get enough new music that sounds like Versus the World and Fate of Norns, then you’ll be a nice shade of satisfied after listening to Midgardian Metal a few times. The comfortableness of this style isn’t lost on me. Songs like “Circle of Runes” and “The Death of Yggdrasil” definitely pound through the speakers and pummel you with a viking-like ferocity. The production is thick and meaty, and the performances are convincing. Over time you will probably forget that you’re not listening to Amon Amarth and just start to enjoy this record for what it is, solid, groove based melodic death metal about vikings and the mythology of medieval Scandinavia.

Just like Amon Amarth.

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