Svartsot - _Ravnenes Saga_
(Napalm Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
Svartsot is the new Finntroll. No, these Danes (thankfully) do not perform a mix of black metal and humpaa or any other polka derivative, but _Ravnenes Saga_ is guaranteed to elicit a similar love/hate relationship with metalheads. Like _Jaktins Tid_, there is a preponderance of highly infectious folk melodies that some people will absolutely love, whilst others will experience homicidal emotions when that melody from "Gravollet" is still resounding within the grey matter, three days later.

As a further warning, these are upbeat melodies by a band that sings about booze and women, not forest mysticism or racial nationalism. Not that it makes much difference, as all the lyrics are sung entirely in Danish. The usual cornucopia of folk instrumentation -- whistles, bodhran and mandolin -- only emphasises their upbeat nature. The vocals are not the torturous clean vocals I expected, but still decent and legible (I think -- a Dane would be n a better position).

Their ale-chuggin’ melodies are likely to appeal to fans of Manegarm, Mithotyn and Storm, but are just likely to appeal to those who prefer Rhapsody or Temnozor -- and everything in-between. It is no exaggeration to say that this could possibly be the best folk metal (Viking, Pagan, take your pick) album of 2007.


(article published 14/1/2008)

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