This is a lusty and full-blooded offering of Viking/pagan metal from veterans who clearly know what they are doing. I put MANEGARM along with HEIDEVOLK at the top of the pagan metal heap and one listen to Fornaldarsagor will show you why. This is energetic, varied metal with an excellent production.
Pagan metal often borrows from its darker brother black metal, and MANEGARM is no exception. ‘Sveablotet’ opens the festivities with a massive wall of guitar power that leaps into a fast, black metal tinged blast.I will tell you right off the bat that if you don’t like foreign language lyrics, stay away from this. but MANEGARM also knows how to do vocals, yet keep them from being monotonous. Over the course of the album, there are roaring growls, clean but very angry Viking shouts, melodic singalong choruses and on ‘Ett Sista Farval’, there are even some beautiful female vocals. Many songs start with blazing speed, but slow down into more mid-paced or melodic tones but never losing the heaviness of metal. The beginning to ‘Spjulsbadden’ is monstrously huge and conjures up a line of grim faced warriors preparing for a bloody battle….awesome stuff!
Lots of good stuff here. ‘Tvenne Drommar’ is the most obviously black metal tune, raging with frosty riffs. ‘Krakes Sista Strid’ is the album’s epic, ranging across a lot of territory and adding fiddle and other ancient- sounding instruments into the mix. The overall heaviness is maintained until the final track ‘Dodskvadet’ emerges as pure Viking folk with an achingly sad feel and more fiddle. Because this is the last track on an album full of robust Viking metal, it is easy to take and provides a fitting end that shows MANEGARM’s fidelity to the music of elder days.
These guys are for sure one of the best acts of this kind on the planet…do not miss!
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
5.5 / 6