Vargstenen

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

In the late ’90s and early ’00s (aughts, as I call ’em), there was a swath of Scandinavian bands forming something of a scene around the sound of folk influenced black metal. Chief among these were ThyrfingMoonsorrow, and Månegarm. While Moonsorrow changed their sound with time and went on to have widespread respect, the Swedish bands (Månegarm and Thyrfing) both labored in relative obscurity. Why Månegarm never quite pushed their way onto the international stage is mysterious for me, because they’ve always been a band producing unique, interesting, and enjoyable music. In any case, Legions of the North marks the band’s first record since 2009’s Nattväsen which was released on the struggling (and now defunct) Regain Records. While Nattväsen was excellent, my major complaint was simply that it was largely a repetition of 2007’s Vargstenen. After 4 years, signing with Napalm Records, getting a new drummer and losing violinist Janne Liljeqvist, can Månegarm present a fresh face and fill their little niche in folk metal?

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Nattväsen (Night Creatures) is the name of the new Månegarm record, and one that works well with the feel of the entire album. Clocking in at a good LP length of 45 minutes, this record explores musically and lyrically the fears which we as humans have had as long as there has been night. Those fears of the things that creep out of sight, be it the ghost of a mountain (“Bergagasten”), the creatures in our dreams (“Nattsjäl-Drömsjäl”) or a mythical creature (“Draugen”). This concept seals together a record of some of the best folk/viking metal that is currently available by any band.