Kampfar – Mellom Skogkledde Aaser
Band Homeland: Norway
Band Homepage: http://www.kampfar.com/
Label Homepage: http://www.napalmrecords.com/
Although originally released by Malicious Records, the re-release of this album by Napalm Records has made it much easier to access. Which, might I add, is a very good thing.
MSA (Mellom Skogkledde Aaser) is comprised of seven tracks that make for an amazing album, which unfortunately only lasts for 38:35, but is represented by an absolutely brilliant cover put together by Seasons of Mist. Maybe the cover should be irrelevant to the music review, but I am impressed by it nonetheless.
I must admit a little disappointment with this album when first listening to it. Why? Because despite the seven tracks listed you are really only offered five complete tracks. The first song is only six seconds long, and consists of some pointless screaming that might as well have been added onto the first real track of the album. The closing song also seems somewhat wasted, as it is 1:40 of the same repetitive (even if somewhat cool) riff being played over and over again. Yet, despite a couple of wasted tracks, Kampfar still pulls through with an absolutely killer album. This black/Viking pagan metal has every element needed to please both Viking/Folk lovers and straight up black metal fans. Just listen to Valgalderkvad for a prefect example on how mix catchy tunes with black metal. Heck it sounds almost like it would come right off of a Moonsorrow album (and that is most definitely not a bad thing). Although most of the music and lyrics fit in with the straight black metal sound, there are more than a few awesome clean parts, such as in the beginning and end of the amazing Hymne but not to worry black metal fans, as this album rarely makes use of the clean vocals or harmony. I must admit that it is rather refreshing to hear a slab of fresh, brutally cold black metal. The riffs that are produced are original and even catchy, while maintaining the raw, low-budget production that most black metal fans seem to desire, despite being rather well balanced and produced.
Mellom Skogkledde Aaser is an absolutely amazing album that belongs in any black or Viking metal fans collection. MSA is also a perfect place to start when looking into Kampfar’s repertoire, especially since I still view it as their strongest work. If I absolutely had to recommend a sample from the album it would most likely have to be Hymne or Valgalderkvad, but really the whole album deserves a shot, but enough babbling from me just check out the damn album.
Review by Josh