Review Summary: A melodic black metal album that doesn't stray too far from the beaten path but still creates something enjoyable
What a lucky man I am. Yes, this album and band were discovered completely out of luck. As I was searching for a rare black metal album that has been eluding me for a while now, I fell upon this. Fortid’s Völuspa Part II – The Arrival Of Fenris
. At first I was intrigued by the cover and the band name, which I had never heard before. Then I saw the short yet accurate description that was given for it. “Folk/black metal. Very melodic”. I decided to give this a shot and it was worth it.
The album opens up with a bit of keyboard playing an ambient air(Bitfröst
). But don’t be fooled, this is a melodic black metal album NOT and ambient one. The second song starts of with a soft guitar passage that builds up as drums and even piano are added. Around the 1:10 mark you are introduced to what the band is really all about….
Well…not quite…. While the heavily distorted guitars and the drumming start, the singing on this song is quite particular. The singer normally uses the typical high, throaty black metal yell. But on this one he uses a lower, chanting-kind of singing with only a few screaming parts. The screaming on this album, while well done, is very similar to most other black metal bands. Sadly, the lyrics remain a mystery to me. From what I can hear they do not sound like English and I was incapable of finding a lyric site with these guys on it so I do not know for sure.
The guitarists deliver some great heavy and melodic riffs throughout the album. They also manage to keep a good variation in their riffs so the songs don’t always sound the same (which is something I find usually brings a lot of black metal bands down).
To create the melodic sound on the album the band uses a few different techniques. Using just power chords gives some of their songs a melodic sound while keeping a distinctively heavier edge. Power chords with a harmonized riff played over them give the music a powerful feel but adds more texture and beauty to the sound. Also the use of keyboards over heavy riffs adds some variety to their music and can easily turn a heavy riff into something with more atmosphere and emotion (as demonstrated in World Of Hel
Acoustic passages appear every now and then through out the album and give certain songs an almost progressive feel.
The drums bring nothing special to the table. They are well played and have good timing but nothing makes them stand out from the sea of metal drummers. Lots of double bass, snare and cymbals for the most part.
Considering this is black metal the sound quality is very good. Definitely not top notch, but good enough to allow you to distinguish the guitar passages and hear what’s going in the song.
Another thing I feel obliged to mention is that this album has an instrumental song (other than the intro). The song is Naströnd. It last 7 minutes and not once was I bored while listening to it. Every instrument is at its best during the song. The keyboards especially shine on this song as they go from being the main instrument to adding atmosphere behind the guitars and back as the main instrument again.
Definitely an album worth checking out if you like black metal. It doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path but still manages to create something very enjoyable.
· Odin’s Sacrifice
· World Of Hel
(my personal fave)