Viking Metal

Helheim – WoduridaR Review

Helheim – WoduridaR Review

“Though one could say Bathory were the pioneers of the sound, Helheim grabbed it up and ran with it. And they’ve been doing it for thirty fucking years. And, since their debut full-length in 1995, they really are one of the most prolific bands in all metal. That’s why in my ‘short’ time at AMG, I’ve reviewed them as many times as I have. It also means, for those new to the band, you have a lot of catching up to do. But don’t fret, no matter where you begin in the discography, you’re going to find something you like. See, Helheim doesn’t write bad albums. Some are solid and some are infuckingcredible. The only question we have to ask ourselves is where this year’s WoduridaR fits in the mix.” Enjoy of deep catalog.

Thyrfing – Vanagandr Review

Thyrfing – Vanagandr Review

“Unless you only got into metal recently, you are sure to have an array of bands that you’ve listened to in the past and enjoyed, but for whatever reason you didn’t delve any deeper or keep up with their new releases. Occasionally you might see a namedrop somewhere and go “huh, yeah, I liked that band.” Sometimes you might even pick the thread back up. It’s how I got back into Madder Mortem, for instance. Other times, you shrug and move on, pursuing new thrills instead, making a solemn oath that you never fulfill, to one day get back to that enjoyable echo from the past. Such a moment of recognition struck me when I saw the name Thyrfing pop up in the promo box. “Thyrfing!” I said. “They were cool! Vansinnesvisor was a good album, I recall. They were kinda sorta big at the time, right?” Norse whisperers.

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

“From Pittsfield, Maine, Snaer is a quartet founded in 2015, having released a 2019 EP entitled Do It Yourself, a title that conveys their aesthetic and work ethic. Featuring a thrash- and doom-infused style that feels icy and brutal in equal measure, debut full-length Frozen Alchemy effectively balances mystical and punishing. Raw spiraling riffs conveyed through Viking metal-esque chord progressions, blackened rasps, complex percussion, and a nice progressive edge all greet the ears with frigid bite.” Lead to gold or lead to goat?

Enslaved – Utgard Review

Enslaved – Utgard Review

“Sometimes a band makes such a drastic change in style that you’re floored by it. Many times upset by it. But Enslaved made it work. Well, at least for a couple more albums. I liked most of RIITIIR, but nothing after. And when E and its saxophone-sucking closer arrived five years later, I had pretty much given up on the band. So, you can imagine the dread I felt when I got the promo for Utgard.” En garde.

Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I can’t remember the last time Kampfar disappointed me. Grier begins to count his fingers, evaluating every album the band has released since 1997. Oh, that’s right: never. ‘Why are you introducing a TYMHM this way?’ ‘Are you trying to freak me out or bury my hope?’ Maybe. But the real reason is that I’m a dick and I like to fuck with you all.” Honesty is a virtue.

Borknagar – True North Review

Borknagar – True North Review

“Calling me a fanboy of Borknagar is an understatement. Because of this, the review of this year’s True North has been one of the toughest yet for ole Grier. That’s why it’s always difficult to trust the opinion of fanboys, starfuckers, or anyone getting financial ‘encouragement’ from a band or label. Wait a second, Grier, did you back yourself into a corner and admit that no one should trust this review? Hell no, plebs. I’m no n00b.” Trve North, trve journalisming.

Ereb Altor – Järtecken Review

Ereb Altor – Järtecken Review

“If you found a younger version of me anytime from 1991 to about 2013, and asked past me how many albums I wanted to hear similar to Bathory‘s mighty Hammerheart release, I would grab you by the throat and scream “ALL OF THEM!” before running into the night to pillage and sack the sackable. The sound and atmosphere of Bathory‘s monsterwork was so damn trve, mighty, and metal, how could anyone grow tired of it? Around 2013 however, I did start to grow tired of the style, because so many of the bands attempting it lacked the charisma and gravitas to pull it off properly.” Hammer fail?

Helheim – Rignir Review

Helheim – Rignir Review

“As I sit here with Helheim‘s newest album, Rignir, two things occur to me.  First, Helheim is the most-consistent band I know. Not only are all their albums good or great but they’ve been releasing a new one every 2-3 years since 1995. Second, I’ve been at AMG far longer than I realized. Having first reviewed this black/Viking metal band back in 2015, Rignir is now the third time I’ve penned some words on their music.” The olde and the reliable.

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.