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Retro Reviews: Lumsk – Åsmund frægdegjevar

Retro Reviews: Lumsk – Åsmund frægdegjevar

Metal these days is in an undeniable downswing. Right now very few bands are doing something new, fresh or innovative. Instead, we’re riding a wave of retro metal: retro Swedish death; retro power; retro ’80s; re-thrash. In all the bustle about the latest cult ’70s style doom record that making everyone hot in the britches, I’ve been getting the itch for something new. Unfortunately, with the exception of the occasional glimmer of hope, right now is also a time for those of us who can to turn our eyes backwards. With a backward glance we talk about records that really should not be forgotten, things that were and, given the retro craze, probably will be again. In this case, I am thinking of Lumsk‘s debut record Åsmund frægdegjevar.

Yggdrasil – Irrbloss Review

Yggdrasil – Irrbloss Review

Yggdrasil is a new band to me, though Irrbloss (“Will-o-wisps”) is their third album. I know that there are a ton of folk metal bands out there, which makes actually going out and looking for new folk metal a very challenging endeavor. Like any underground scene there’s going to be a lot of shit, so sifting through that all sometimes is more effort than its worth. Fortunately for me, there are others with more patience than I who directed me to Sweden’s Yggdrasil and I am very glad that they did so.

Bjørnar Selsbak – Rygteflom/Tunge Taarer Review

So, a couple months ago I got Lumsk‘s debut Åsmund Frægdegjevar and I have to say that I was really impressed. It’s one of the most unique folk metal records I’ve ever heard. Slow, but the smart blending of progressive elements with traditional Norwegian folk music and the melodies was stellar. In fact, way better than their contemporaries in a lot of areas. However, I was soon informed to not check out the band’s later material, largely because the guitarist who had written the majority of it had left the band. This creativity, however, lives on in this single or EP (or whatever it is) released all these years later which is made up of two songs “Rygteflom” and “Tunge Taarer”.

Vintersorg – Jordpuls Review

Vintersorg // Jordpuls Rating: 4.5/5.0 — The Perfect Record for Spring Label: Napalm Records Website: myspace.com/vintersorganic Release Dates: EU: 2011.25-28.03 | US: 04.05.2011 After a wintry silence of 4 years about a new solo record, Vintersorg is finally releasing the long awaited follow-up to Solens Rötter. If you consider the early solo career of Mr. […]

Yaotl Mictlan – Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac Review

Yaotl Mictlan – Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac Review

One little-known, but easily knowable, fact about Angry Metal Guy is that he (I, I guess we’re going in third person today) is a big history buff. In other reviews I (OK, back to first person now) have frequently referred to the history of whatever it is that said band is writing about and I truly enjoy it when bands look backwards to their own cultural history for influence. Why form a band and copy the Norwegians and Swedes who did the same? Look at your own world, look at your own culture and build up from there! The band Yaotl Mictlan has probably not read this blog to get this idea, but they have the same idea that I do. Drawing on hundreds of years of history and hundreds more of oppression, Yaotl Mictlan is writing black metal with folk undertones that is strongly influenced by the history of the Mayans, the pre-Hispanic-conquest people of Mexico, who have never really disappeared, even if their ancient empire collapsed.

Kebnekajse – Idioten Review

Kebnekajse – Idioten Review

The 1970s were a fascinating period for Sweden. There was a ton of experimentation, it was the 1970s, but just like many other phenomena, much of what was happening in the outside world was mirrored in the funhouse mirror that is Sweden’s culture. So while Americans of the time, for example, flirted with Marxism, drugs and experimental music, all of that stuff got taken in different directions in Sweden. Reading about the so-called “Red Wave” (red as in communist) of the 1970s is actually really interesting, and seeing how that was showed up and was interpreted in other parts of the culture is a fascinating endeavor. It follows, then, that one of the most interesting things that came out of the era was called “progg” (that might look familiar to you), and it is not the same as what we think of progressive or symphonic rock that changed the face of rock in the US or UK. Instead, much of the scene was caught up in ideologies and were far more concerned with political thought than with music at all. (Rumor has it that one of the bands let everyone play every instrument because it would be unfair otherwise.)

Fejd – Eifur Review

Fejd – Eifur Review

Last year I received Swedish folk-metallers Fejd’s Napalm Records debut with great excitement. I had been listening to the band for a long time and was really impressed with their material in general. Their earlier demos I en tid som var and Huldran had both been constantly on my playlist since I downloaded them (and with good reason). But while I was not disappointed with Storm, the material didn’t blow me away as much as the earlier demos had. Maybe this was a “slump” or something, but it didn’t quite live up to those standards.