Nordisches Blut - _Our Banners Will Rise_
(Undercover Records, 2003)
by: Matthias Noll (7 out of 10)
Nordisches Blut is Vargsang (Vargsang / ex-Graven) doing a heavily Graveland or Viking-era Bathory inspired record. Of course this means mostly slow to mid-tempo songs with very raw guitars, anthemic yet minimalist keyboards, booming war-drums and raspy vocals all the way through. As with his main band, Vargsang (who goes by the name of Von List here) still is no innovator, but offers a mixture that borrows elements here and there, enriches them with his own ideas and combines them in a way that achieves surprisingly convincing results. The sound is fairly necro and totally unpolished, and could be considered a somewhat rawer version of earlier Graveland days, circa _Thousand Swords_. Fortunately the major part of the album avoids folkish themes, which greatly helps to stylistically separate this German project from the Poles to a certain extent. Those familiar with either Graven or Vargsang will also be able to easily recognize the vocals, as well as some of the guitar work. For an album in this specific genre it's quite refreshing that all the songs remain at a length which is still easy to digest and does not drag on forevermore to appear more epic. Together with the fairly diverse and memorable song material, _Our Banners Will Rise_ is a truly enjoyable album, which, no matter how much Nordisches Blut owe to the sound pioneered by Darken and Capricornus, makes this album far more enjoyable for me than the viscous _The Fire of Awakening_.


(article published 26/12/2003)

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