Kroda - _Fimbulvinter_
(Hammermark Art, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
"Sunshine becomes black the next summer
All weather is vicious -- do you understand yet, or what more?"
- Voluspa Verse 41

In Norse mythology, Fimbulvinter is the three year long winter that precedes the arrival of Ragnarok, the apocalypse. The evocation of this icy wasteland and subsequent demise of the world is the central theme of Kroda's third and most ambitious full-length. As is the norm for Kroda, the CD booklet is again beautifully designed by Vitzergir, but he has outdone himself this time with a luscious twenty page booklet. The scenes of wintry desolation and the dichromatic layout of blue and white hues are a far cry from the inviting browns and oranges of previous Kroda artwork, but ties in perfectly with the theme. Also included in the booklet are two delightful paintings of the band members, done by Hammersdotir, who has portrayed them as regal heathens.

Even the now obligatory cover song "A Stormride" (originally by Blazebirth Hall band Branikald) ties in with the theme of eternal winter. Kroda are at pains to state that it is "based on the original text and music but has difference", but I cannot comment on this as I have not heard the original (my loss, I know). It is immediately obvious even to the most casual listener that this is not a Kroda original, but its link with the predominant theme elevates it beyond the usual cover tacked onto the end of an album as an afterthought.

The music is unmistakably Kroda, only better than before. As Kroda become more accomplished, their songs lengthen and become more complex, more intriguing, more nuanced -- yet never leaving the pagan metal niche they have carved for themselves. Their efforts have yielded dividends in the form of possibly the best pagan metal album of 2007.


(article published 23/6/2007)

3/25/2009 Q Kalis 7.5 Kroda - Live in Lemburg
1/12/2007 Q Kalis 9 Kroda - Towards the Firmaments Verge of Life...
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