Review Summary: Valfar's swan song. A magnum opus of the black metal genre, and an absolute masterpiece.
I was sceptical about this album. I'm not sure why, but after falling in love with 1184 I thought that nothing could top it. I took it for a spin in my stereo, and after the ambient intro of "Ressurection.." Valfar's screams kicked in and my doubt was nearly removed. I DO NOT WISH TO SOUND FANBOYISH, but this album is pure perfection.
One thing I noticed about the blast beats, was that the snare drum was more audible in 1184. However, this is not a bad thing. Steingrims drumming is excellent, and he can switch beats extremely fast.
The guitar duties are performed by Sture (Rhythm) and Strom (Lead). Sture really doesn't get the opportunity to show his fretboard skills, but Strom on the other hand really shines on this album. His lead melodies, his arpeggios and fast riffs is an important cornerstone in making this album to what it is. Sture's Rhythm guitar is also important to make the riffs complete. Also, what separates this from 1184 is that the fast melodic tremolo riffs (Heidra intro, Journey to the End intro, middle of Todeswalzer) are not that present anymore.
Hváll really impress me here. The best parts are the soft parts when only he and Righ(Keyboards) are present, maybe some drumming too. I get goosebumps everytime they appear. (Middle part of Dauden, Blodssvik intro) are some great examples for that.
Windirs sound would not be the same without the keyboards. Righs keyboards are what gives me goosebumps (Stroms leads aswell) on this album. Listen to the opening of Ætti Mørkna, or the soft parts of wich I mentioned, and you'll know what i mean.
Valfars lyrics could fit in a folk hymn or whatever. His lyrics is beautiful (I can understand them, I'm Norwegian)
"Feigdaklokkene kime, dao veit ein ke so venta
Dauden e komen, da e meg han ska henta"
I'm not going to cover all the songs, just the very, very good ones.
Fagning: Begins straightforward with a fast tremolo riff and blast beats. Then takes a small break with a distorted melody from Strom himself with the drums and keyboards in the background. Then picks back up with Valfar's screams and Strom's arpeggios just beneath his vocal lines. The best part of this song is the beautiful folky part at 6:10. Listen to it, and fall in love. The song fades out at the end, wich somehow make me sad.
Ætti Mørkna: Begins with Valfar's scream and a dark, tremolo picked melody and Righ's keyboards over it. The feeling I get in this one is undescribable to be honest. You have to listen to it to get what I mean. A real typical Windir song. After around 2 minutes a break takes place, with bass, keyboards and a weird drum sound. The melody lines and Cosmocrator's clean vocals on top after the break is so beautiful. Then another break comes in with Sture and Strom playing a distorted melody together and Righ in the background. Like another review said, this song could go all day and I wouldn't mind.
Highlights: Ætti Mørkna (the best), Fagning, Despot, Blodssvik, Dauden.
Conclusion: Valfar is nothing short of a genius who composed this. Purchase this if you see it, you will not regret it. Heidra Valfar!