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King of Asgard - Svartrviðr

Overall: 88/100

The mighty Swedish viking black metal band King of Asgard releases their fifth album ''Svartrviðr'' will meet you the two of the Oden's messenger ravens with all its epicness, darkness and perfectly crafted instruments.

Two ravens sit on his (Odin’s) shoulders and whisper all the news which they see and hear into his ear; they are called Huginn and Muninn. He sends them out in the morning to fly around the whole world, and by breakfast they are back again. Thus, he finds out many new things and this is why he is called ‘raven-god’ (hrafnaguð).(1)

I divide this album into two sections. The first half represents by the Huginn the other one from the Muninn. The first half is the first moment you encounter this Odin's messenger under the daylights.

''Frôðr'' with its first riff surrounds the air you breathe, brings the Viking feelings so much that, hummin comes from the air to your side. After this incredibly moody riff, the song creates its own legend with great mid-tempo guitar works. Then the darkness comes from the Helheim with the excellently fitting vocals. Great melodies and a dark speech greet at the half. An emotional solo expands the feelings. A legendary one from the band.

With its catchy opening ''Rifna'' brings also epicness with its chanting ambient vocals. Then the black metal moments build the song, mid-tempo riffs and drums keep freshness, drums go heavy with the double pedals. Takes a more simple approach, closes with perfectly crafted melodic riffs. Feels a little bit long and repetitive than it should be, but it's a solid one for sure.

Starting with fascinating acoustic guitars ''Kvikr'' then take this acoustic riff and turn it into the folky black metal way. A magnificent main riff follows it with gloomy vocals. Builds up and continues fast-paced great riff like Transilvanian Hunger meets Amon Amarth like riffing and some folky elements. Also loved the calmy piano pattern. Then the song changes, take a dark approach with slow drums and evil riffing. I loved the diversity. A diverse one from the band.

Munnin flies to your side on this cloudy evening. The other half, with all its epicness, starts with ‘’Ammobiærg’’ makes you feel the darkness with its evil growls. Then fast pace melodic riffs come, vocals play their roles perfectly. Song builds up with all these elements. Folky, evil guitars and tempo meet with an evil speech once again. Ends with folky and slow guitar works.

The eight-minute-long title track ''Svartrviðr '' stands out with beautifully crafted clean vocals. Gives the pagan feeling by using epic elements. A complete pagan national anthem from start to finish.

Closing this journey with a 2-minute long outro song ‘’FæigR’’ with a calming but epic piano work and sounds of these two ravens. Going to talk with Odin about all of your experiences you had when listening to this solid record.

(1): Simek, Rudolf. 1993. Dictionary of Northern Mythology.


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