Folk and Pagan bands that really make an effort out of their music, taking things seriously, without changing into a beer drinking gimmick. That’s something I can really enjoy. There are too much of those semi-serious bands that don’t seem to care and just fool around a bit. Something which is completely different with the Swedish Vikings of Månegarm. With fire and steel they are here to conquer your speakers with their new, self-titled album: ‘Månegarm’.
As a Viking metal band, the Swedes of Månegarm have already reached their eighth full length album. Starting back in 1998 this is one of those bands that managed to steadily produce music of a very high quality. However their first record with new label Napalm Records, ‘Legions Of The North’, seemed to be some kind of a false start, because that one was quite dull, but the new album kicks ass.
‘Månegarm’ is very entertaining, from beginning to end. What’s very impressive are the differences between every track. Opener ‘Blodörn’ immediately puts you into the position they want you to be in. Listening to this eight minute long track, headbanging along to the heavy refrain and listening in awe to the beautiful, orchestral strings that accompany the loudness of the track. The grunts really finish the album in style, while the clean vocals on the refrain also show the other side of Månegarm.
Because this self-titled album is one of many different highlights. ‘Blodörn’ is one, but the catchy, festival anthem ‘Odin Owns Ye All’ could prove to be another. It yet has to be tested live, but listening to the album version of the track, there are lots of possibilities for this to work out very well on-stage.
Then there’s the weird, but oh-so beautiful ballad ‘Blot’. The entire songs is made, and sounds, like some sort of pagan worship music. Combine the somewhat more modern Christian gospel and worship music, combine it with Swedish language and a handful of Scandinavian Vikings and the result is absolutely stunning.
‘Call Of The Runes’, ‘Kraft’ and ‘Nattramn’ are more of the up-tempo heavy tracks that continue the album in a pretty good manner. But the last highlight has been reserved for the stunning ‘Allfader’. Not sung by Månegarm vocalist Erik Grawlsiö, who does a good job on the rest of the album, but by an unknown female vocalist that completely nails this track. She absolutely finishes this ballad, and the album, in style.
Some people were afraid that the signing with Napalm Records would mean that the band would sink into the pool of comparable Viking metal bands. But the opposite has happened. After the lesser ‘Legions Of The North’, they have come back with an amazing force that’s their eighth album. The Scandinavian Northern wolves that are Månegarm are back, with a terrific vengeance.
- Tagen Av Daga
- Odin Owns Ye All
- Vigverk – Del II
- Call Of The Runes
- Bärsärkarna Frän Svitjod