Svartsot

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll‘s role in the development of modern folk metal cannot be understated. Re-visiting classics like Jakens tid and Nattfödd often leads me to wonder how these guys managed to rip off my favorite folk albums before they were written. The unabashed and upfront nature of their folk qualities changed the game. That said, it’s amazing that Finntroll are still relevant. 21 years into the game, the newer blood in the genre reasonably should have surpassed them by now.” Troll down memory lane.

Vanir – Allfather Review

Vanir – Allfather Review

“What got you here won’t be what gets you there. Vanir know a bit about that. After three doots on the folk metal flute, the Danes bulked up with 2016’s Aldar Rök, adding another axe to the ever-growing Viking metal hordes. I always applaud a pivot; if you’re not improving, you’re dying. But with Vanir‘s first attempt not exactly summoning my Bifrost, my expectations for Allfather are tempered.” Northern haze.

Svartsot – Vældet Review

Svartsot – Vældet Review

“Hot on the heels of Finnish folk metal legends Ensiferum‘s newest platter, the Great Danes in Svartsot also released their latest slab of gnome dancing, beer swilling folk noise. Though I have a limited cranial capacity for this kind of music, I’ve always enjoyed the strange brews these loony Hamlets fermented over the years.” Put some harp in your LARP.

Svartsot – Maledictus Eris Review

Svartsot – Maledictus Eris Review

There’s nothing quite like Danish melodic death/folk, right kids? What’s that you say? You don’t know what Steel Druhm speaks of? For shame! By now you probably should know of Svartsot and their heavier than thou approach to folk metal since they’ve been churning it out since 2007. I was a big fan of their quirky debut Ravnenes Saga and was equally amused by the follow up Mulmets Viser (as was AMG himself). Both featured heavy but very catchy and anthemic folk metal with very deathy vocals. Their sound can almost be summed up as Korpiklaani meets Cannibal Corpse after too many ales. Its a weirdly festive and danceable style (yes, you may want to dance around like a spazz to some of their tunes) that somehow remains bruisingly heavy at the same time. Because their approach is so offbeat and unique, it struck a nerve with me and I had high hopes that nerve would continue getting struck with Maledictus Eris, their third release. I’m happy to report this is more entertaining, beer stein swinging, gnome jigging, renaissance faire approved folk metal. All the elements that made the previous albums work are present and if anything, this may be more catchy and fun than before. Now, their admittedly quirky style might not be everyone’s cup of grog. It requires a little tolerance for folk-infused camp and silliness but if you can handle the oddness, its more fun than a barrel full of forest gremlins.

Svartsot – Mulmets Viser Review

Svartsot – Mulmets Viser Review

Given the whole history of medieval Scandinavia and where the vikings actually came from as a rule, it is surprising to me that there are not more bands from Denmark that have jumped onto this whole Viking Metal thing that has been swelling up in metal for the last decade or so. No, instead it was basically introduced by a Swede in the 1980s and has been carried on primarily by Swedes and Norwegians who do the style well. But it was not the Swedes that the Englishmen were so afraid of, but the Danes. There was even a law (and a word for it) where they called the money that was paid in tribute to the Vikings who were threatening to invade a certain area: “Danegeld”. It is true that (what would be modern day) Norwegians were involved in these raids, and so, too, were the Rus, or Swedish Vikings. But the Danes are the Vikings you learn about. “Sure,” you say, “but this point is pedantic and long-winded. You’re Angry Metal Guy not Angry History Nerd.” Good point. But my point is this: very little Danish viking metal exists. The only band I’ve heard of is Svartsot, who has just released their second album of folk influenced, medieval Scandinavian metal songs.