Thursday, November 23, 2006

By The Might Of The Gods …

Asmegin is a Norwegian folk/viking metal band who, if you ask me, epitomizes what folk metal is about. Not only do they utilize various folk influences and melodies, but they play some of the fastest and brutal metal I’ve heard. Imagine the folk styling of Elvenking and Waylander mixed with heaviness of Thyrfing and Einherjer and throw in the insane drum work of Proscriptor of Absu and you’ll have some idea of Asmegin.

They have only one album to date (though a 4 album deal has been made with Napalm records) a second (rumoured double album as well) is being recorded and man I can’t wait! “Hin Vordende Sod & Sø” is the album I’ll be talking about today. The lyrics are written in Norwegian and Old Norse so I really have no idea what the songs are about, but according to Wikipedia some track are modeled after the Norwegian play Peer Gynt. All the same, I love that cover and it was enough for me to check it out.

“Hin …” begins with “Af Helvegum” which is a heavy, dark piece that features some sinister female vocals by Sareeta of Ram-Zet. It’s haunting and has a nice folk interlude. Next is “Bruderov Paa HæGstadtun” which is a passionate black metally song with a chunky folk bit and Sareeta vocals and violin work.

The heavily black metal stylings are also on tracks “Efterbyrden” which is insanely fast with rhythmic riff work of a folk like melody and incorporates a baby crying underscored by a freaky riff. The crying which is unsettling and eerie carries through to “Op Af Bisterlitiern” which has a sweet folk like melody, just insanely fast also. To round out the crazily fast tunes are “Vargr I VéUm - Eilivs Bane” and “Blodhevn” which both have black metal vocals and are dark and heavy. They also have some nice choral harmonic vocals much like what Into Eternity use with “Blodhevn” having a battle cry feel.

“Huldradans - Hin GrøNnkledde” is a haunting acousticy folk piece and has an enchanting Dead Can Dance feel. There is also the movie soundtrack-like song “Slit Livets Baand” that’s atmospheric yet majestic. And the album closer “Valgalder” is traditionally folky with harmonic vocals that are soothing after the brutal onslaught.

The 2 tracks that stand out for me are “Over ÆGirs Vidstragte Sletter” which opens with vocal harmonics leading into one heavy and brutal death metal song. And my favourite song “Til Rondefolkets Herskab” which features black, death, gothicy and female vocals combined with nice violin melodies and dark heavy riff work. A deliciously folky tune!

Overall “Hin Vordende Sod & Sø” is a great album and anybody into folk/Viking metal must have it. Sareeta (now a permanent member) vocals and violin work add a haunting folk edge to the music that is uniquely Asmegin and I am ever anticipating their follow up release.

Up next will be Mithotyn who are the precursor to Falconer and hopefully if there is time Christian folk metal Holy Blood …. I’ll be hittin’ Vegas for a few days at the beginning of December and whence I return I’ll moving into my Christmas music and I think some of you may be pleasantly surprised …


Blogger Chana said...

oh i love all your pictures today. they are nice and i loved the vivid colors..and then on the rocks, wow, that is gorgeous..just like me, to notice the mountain and think that is the hot part of the pic, lol..but i love rock trust me..kinda funny play on

well, i tell you, going to a party at your house would be some darn experience. a good one of course. it be like tasting chocolate for the first time..your music is so different to me, i betcha i would truly enjoy most of it though.

i hope you and the wife have a wonderful and safe wknd.

2:18 AM  

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