Kampfar - _Kvass_
by: Quentin Kalis (
Kampfar's last opus, 1999's _Fra Underverdenen_, was a decent listen, but nonetheless Kampfar seemed doomed to be a mere footnote to Norway's enviable and extensive black metal scene. Their new album _Kvass_ now seems set to rewrite the proverbial history book. Despite the long hiatus, _Kvass_ essentially continues the path forged on its predecessor, but Kampfar have refined and tweaked it, resulting in an album that is, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking excellent._Kvass_ does not herald a new direction for the band, but the level of skill exhibited in terms of songwriting and performance is something else entirely. I don't mean "skill" to refer to a highly technical album, but in the sense of creating powerful songs with flowing melodies, capable of appealing both to those used to the anorexic sound of Darkthrone or the lush production of Dimmu Borgir. _Kvass_ is to _Fra Underverdenen_ what Opeth's _Morningrise_ is to _Orchid_; both sets of albums utilise the same framework and sound, but their successor tweaks and refines the sound, resulting in a staggeringly brilliant album.The folk elements present on their earlier work have not been completely abandoned, but their use is so infrequent that it barely warrants a mention. A notable exception is the folksy melody that is clumsily located midway through "Ildverden", disrupting and ruining an otherwise virtually flawless album.As indicated earlier, this album will appeal to a diverse range of tastes. So what are you waiting for?
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