VIKING BLACK METAL | ORIGINALLY FROM ICELAND/ LATER OSLO/ NORWAY
RELEASED VIA SCHWARZDORN PRODUCTIONS ON 24.08.2012
In a period of time ranging from 2003 all the way through to 2010, FORTID, an Icelandic Viking Black Metal band released a trilogy of albums, the “Voluspa Trilogy Parts I, II and III”. Voluspa is a piece of Asatru literature and the main reason and drive behind original member Einar Thorberg! Part I was “Thors Anger” and was followed some years later by Part II, ” The Arrival Of Fenris” and then finished off in Part III with “Fall Of The Ages”. With the epic body of work now complete and registered in the annuls of time and music, Einar has moved to Norway, dropped the solo artist tag and recruited a band around him for the bands fourth studio album entitled rather enticingly “Pagan Prophecies”. Joining Einar is Oystein Hansen on guitars, Rikard Jonsson on bass and Daniel Theobold on drumming duties, together forming a four piece of like minded thought and equal talent!
Speaking of said talent, it shines through right from the off on “Pagan Prophecies”, a seven track masterclass in furious Black Metal, Folk Metal like intimacy and melodic modesty! There are many bands now plying a trace singing about the Vikings, Norse and Icelandic mythology and folk like tales (Amon Amarth of course do little else ) yet when it is written correctly and performed with spirit, soul and dexterity then it never seems to be a subject matter or sound with which I can get bored of. That said in track number three “Electric Horizon” when sounds of a vicious machine gun battle fill the air it has to be said that it was not what I was expecting from a Viking band on a Pagan like album!
Musically Fortid split their time between a brutal sounding style of Black Metal featuring crushing riff-age, bleak and hard vocals very much in a Black Metal fashion and furious drumming! Yet when the band break down from their core sound and let some melody peek through the cracks the magic really starts to happen. Expertly played guitar solos add a harmony sometimes really seen in the Black Metal scene as they weave their way majestically through the darkness, casting light in places where once there was only a brooding uncertainty. Folk Metal undertones add further depth as do the occasionally use of clean vocals. Add into the mix an excellent sense of song structure and a great deal of finesse and you have the makings of a truly spectacular album, like a cross of melodic Dimmu Borgir with Tyr, yet with far more influences and sounds in and around them. “Pagan Prophecies” then is the perfect fresh start, with the trilogy complete Fortid can and have moved on in spectacular fashion to far greater things! [9/10 – LUKE HAYHURST]