Viking Metal

Mistur – In Memoriam [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Mistur – In Memoriam [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“If you look back through the top ten archives of the site, you’ll find it’s not uncommon to see a band on a list that was never reviewed by us. If a promo doesn’t come through our hand-hewn bone doors, it doesn’t get reviewed. But, even with that rule in place, there’re just too many promos arriving on a weekly basis to catch them all. What is uncommon is an album that not only landed on a couple lists but also took the top spot.” The embargo must be broken!

Ctulu – Ctulu Review

Ctulu – Ctulu Review

“Knowing my obsession for all things Lovecraft, a friend of mine has been haranguing me for the last few years to check out Ctulu (the band, not the scourge of creation). Something I have consciously avoided doing, mostly because I’m an infuriating and perverse son of a bitch. When I stumbled upon their fourth and newest self-titled release in the arcane libraries of AMG, I decided enough was enough. Frankly, I wish I had sooner because Ctulu play a high-energy amalgamation of Lawless Darkness-era Watain and latter-day Immortal.” The restricted section is off limits to newbies!

Uburen – Fra Doden Fodes Liv review

Uburen – Fra Doden Fodes Liv review

“Listening to Enslaved, Deathspell Omega, or Immortal now makes it obvious that an evil tone and master is something you can achieve without sacrificing sound quality. A dynamic production suited for black metal can actually increase and enhance the inherent unease of the genre. Yet, there are still persevering atavists like Uburen, whose primary goal seems to be emulating the aural mutilation of Norway ca 1993.” Behold the Tree of Strife.

Skálmöld – Vögguvísur Yggdrasils Review

Skálmöld – Vögguvísur Yggdrasils Review

Vögguvísur Yggdrasils is the fourth full-length from Iceland’s most (only?) notable Viking metal band, Skálmöld. I’ve formerly criticized this genre tag in my review of the album’s predecessor but ultimately conceded that it was a neater way of describing the number of influences at play in their energetic interpretation of Northern European mythology.” Let your blood eagle fly.

Asenblut – Berzerker Review

Asenblut – Berzerker Review

Vikings. They’ve overtaken motorcycle gangs, sparkly vampires, and variations of the zombie as the Big Thing of the Now in America, if our television shows and Faceborg timelines are correct. Thing is, “Vikings have been a trend for a long-ass time in the realm of heavy metal. Hell, Yngwie FOOKING Malmsteen was a Viking long before Amon Amarth first sailed their ships into stormy waters. He even proclaimed so himself! But that’s not gonna stop the new crop of metal bands from brandishing their axes, donning their horned helmets, and sailing away to uncharted lands. Germany’s Asenblut toss their shields into the pagan circle with their third album, Berzerker.” Do you have a Viking inside you? Want one?

SIG:AR:TYR – Northen Review

SIG:AR:TYR – Northen Review

SIG:AR:TYR are one of the most criminally overlooked acts in the Viking/folk/black metal arena and even after three high quality albums they still seem woefully under-appreciated. Taking the best elements of Bathory‘s Viking era and fusing them with influences ranging from Immortal, Falkenbach and Primordial, founder and sole member Daemonskald crafted some amazingly epical moments on unsung classics like Beyond the North Winds and 2010’s Godsaga.” Prepare to feel the Hammer o’ the North.

Ereb Altor – Blot Ilt Taut – Review

Ereb Altor – Blot Ilt Taut – Review

“I’ve reviewed several albums by Sweden’s Ereb Altor, all approvingly. They even captured my Song o’ the Year for 2015 with the mighty “Nattramm.” Whenever I discuss their style, I’m forced to compare them to Viking-era Bathory because that’s clearly their chief influence and they do nothing to hide it. With that in mind, I wasn’t surprised to hear they were doing an entire album of Bathory covers to honor the late, great Quorthon.” Raise the Tribute Hammer.

Cold Northern Vengeance – Maelstrom Review

Cold Northern Vengeance – Maelstrom Review

“When I think of blackened Viking metal with influences from prominent Satan-centric places on this great Earth – such as Norway and France – I don’t necessarily think of New Hampshire. I’m no expert in American history so maybe there were bountiful Viking raids on picturesque seaside towns like Seabrook, but I can’t be sure about that. Nonetheless, Cold Northern Vengeance comes bearing gifts of such blackened Viking metal from their cheerful home town in the form of Maelstrom.” Vikings ruined my leaf peeping weekend.