Arntor - Windir
Valfar - Vocals. Bass, Guitar, Synth, Accordian
Steingrim - Drums
Steinarson - Clean Vocals
Hailing from Sogndal, Norway, Windirs second album Arntor is considered by many to be their greatest. It is easy to see why after listening to it as it contains many great elements ranging from Lead Guitar melodies to screams to folk melodies to clean singing to swing (yes swing). Well here goes...
An instrumental and a song that serves as the intro. You really get what Windirs all about right away after hearing the first few notes. Though still very black metal the influence of folk music and the viking feeling can be felt right away. The song progresses quickly and soon drums enter giving a basic backbeat. This song pretty much eases you into the next few songs which are a little more metal ;).
Arntor, Ein Windir
Based on a famous hero of Valfars home region, and the lyrics tell his story and it's easy to imagine this song is a real fuck
ing awesome song. While Valfar screams about overthrowing the "governer scum" we are entertained by various melodies that are almost boderline catchy but still traditional black metal. The bridge is one of the best melodies ever, and the scream of JIIIHHHAA! (not jihad :p) that goes into gives me a chuckle every time I listen. Later there are some superb acoustic and synth parts before returning to the verses.
Kong Hydnes Haug
Another awesome song, rather long, but not repetitive. It is probably one of the more black metal songs on the cd and includes some awesome clean vocals. The riffing is excellent, as is the drumming. Hard to describe this song, just listen to it and you'll get the idea. Unfortunaely it is a song that is often overlooked on this cd.
Svartasmeden Og Lundamyrstrollet
Starts out with an awesome lead guitar that is soaked in reverb and chorus effects and is backed by tremelo picking and blast beats. Another story that could be a folk tale, the lyrics are about a Blacksmith and a Troll. Very folky parts but also very melodic lead guitar lines that appeal to the Viking side of things. There is again great clean singing and also very consistent drumming which must be appreciated since the song is 9 minutes of pretty fast double kick/blast beats. Definitely a song to remember.
Is that a swing rhythm I hear? Yes it is, the song swings throughput much of its entirety and demonstrates Valfars versatility and brilliance as a song writer. The clean vocals by Steinarson are also very good, a little similar to Svartasmeden. The song has a sort of trudging epic feel, like the song is describing going to war. (At least, I can easily picture Vikings marching to war with this). Another great song, by the time I had reached this song on my first listen I was pretty much dumbstruck by the awesomeness of this cd.
Kinda reminds me of Kong Hydnes Haug. Another long song that is not boring or repetitive but not memorable and overlooked due to the high standards of the other tracks. The lyrics to this one are a little twisted, the song title translates to "the Longing" and one seems to think Valfar is longing for say, a women or something (god that sounds wrong for some reason). The ending gives a twist however when Valfar screams I die because I long, and I long for Death
Serving as the Outro it also dually serves as a short outro metal song. Not your typical outro, the song is structured strophically and includes vocals and a complete set of riffs and melodies. The vocals are again great (the harsh vocals throughout the album are topnotch) and the fast tempo makes the best headbanger on the cd. Great ending to a great cd.
-Very good listen, good song flow
-Production could be clearer (see 1184)
-(Like all my review in Black Metal) Not really raw Black Metal but definitely worth checking out for fans of Falkenbach and other Folk Viking bands.
A must have for any viking/folk/pagan/black metal fan.
Hails to Valfar in Valhalla!