Review Summary: A slightly flawed album which still should offer a fun listen for fans of this style.
Thomas, guitar and keys
Kampfar may seem like just another band in the heap of bands coming from Norway. That is wrong, my friend. Kampfar play a unique brand of Black/Folk Metal. It's not folk in the sense of accordion or bagpipes, but enough to get the listener in that folky mood. Every time I take this for a spin, I imagine myself being lost in a forest. Just look at the cover art and you'll know what I mean.
Thomas does an excellent job on this album, providing us with great folk melodies with Jon lying beneath with his basslines. The bass is surprisingly audible on Heimgang, wich is a great bonus. Dolk has to be one of the greatest vocalists in Norwegian Black Metal. You can almost hear every word he is saying, although they are Norwegian. His lyrics is especially good on Skogens Dyp, as they fit perfect to the cover art. The album may be more appealing to the Norwegian audience, as every song is in Norwegian. Another great thing about this album is the drumwork, wich is mostly mid-tempo. They dont overshadow the music, they're just "there", which is exactly what drums should be in a black metal album.
The album begins with "Vantro", an intro which opens the album in an appropiate manner, as it fits the rest of the album very well. "Inferno" takes you right to the forest with furious tremolo picked riffs, soaring vocals, and blasting drums. The band steers away from the folk influences particularly on this track, but is mostly present in the rest of the album. The real stand-out track on this album is "Skogens Dyp", which begins with an extremely catchy folk-influenced melody. This riff has to be the best riff Kampfar has ever written. The melody will stick with you for a long while. This song also has the best lyrics on the album. It is about being lost in a deep forest, and it fits perfect to the cover art. The rest of the album doesn't live up to this song though, and it goes pretty much down from here.
What comes to mind when listening to this album though, is the fact that it is very dark and atmospheric. It manages to give you that special black metal feeling all the way through. The only real issue i have with this album is that it gets boring after a while. I wish they could experiment a bit more. They play way too safe, and thus, this album is very one-dimensional.
Excellent melodic riffs
The production could be better
Don't hesistate to check this out if you're curious, it'a good occasional listen. If you're a fan of this style, go get it already.