Árstíðir Lífsins – Saga Á Tveim Tungum I: Vápn Ok Viðr

What is Viking Metal and what does it consist of? Is it having twenty-eight inches of hair, dressing up in armor and/or a kilt while wielding a sword? Is it dressing in all black while wearing Thor’s hammer pendants around the neck? Or perhaps it consists of including symbolic imagery such as runes and ships in the package art? More importantly, what is the formula to creating good Viking Metal? I ask these burning questions because ever since the Metal world included Norse mythology into its art, a majority of the bands at the forefront playing it are way too gimmicky. There are too many bands gravitating towards Norse mythology and its culture while writing about it because it is the trend rather than having love, appreciation, or genuine interest for it. In my opinion, good Viking Metal is a rarity.

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Eluveitie – Ategnatos

Formed in 2002, Swiss Folk Metal act Eluveitie were thrust almost immediately towards the front line of the burgeoning, so-called Viking Metal/Battle Metal scene as it erupted around them during the middle of that decade. Metal inspired by Vikings and Folk music can be traced back to the likes of Bathory and Skyclad, if not before, but such was the explosion of bands around this time, you couldn’t get out of bed for tripping over accordions, fiddles, animal skins and antlers. Continue reading

Týr – Hel

Never have I listened to a band that made me want to learn about more about mythology, the band’s country of origin, their heritage, and their language all in one sitting. If you’re a Týr fan, you’ve most certainly been down this rabbit hole every album cycle – I can’t count how many times I’ve spent my spare time doing endless Google searches learning about mythology and Vikings as well as reading and reciting Faroese lyrics while getting lost in the beauty of their music; it’s like getting high without doing drugs. Continue reading

Amon Amarth Streams New Single – “Raven’s Flight”, New Album Due in May

Viking Metallers Amon Amarth has announced their new album Berserker, due on May 3rd via Nuclear Blast. The band just released the brutal new single, ‘Raven’s Flight’ Which you can hear below! The album is the first with new drummer Jocke Wallgren (October Tide). The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with Anthrax, Steel Panther, Uriah Heep, and Stone Sour. Crank it up to 11 and listen to ‘Raven’s Flight’ right now!  Continue reading

Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm

It’s hard to believe that Amon Amarth has been a band for over twenty-five years. The incredible arc of their journey from a suburban bunch of guys from nearby Stockholm, Sweden with a dream to world dominating metal force majeure is nothing short of astounding. As much as I have followed their career as closely as possible, there were definite gaps in my knowledge. In the incredible new documentary/concert film Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm (Metal Blade) certainly illuminates the backstory of one of the greatest modern metal bands today. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and there were many missteps that could have ensured they never succeeded. However, the Amon Amarth story is about perseverance and the strength to achieve what your mind desires. Continue reading

Einherjer – Norrøne Spor

The first time I crossed swords (!) with Norse warriors Einherjer was shortly after the release of the stellar blackened Viking Metal opus Odin Owns Ye All (Century Media) when they impressed on a bill that included Cradle of Filth and the underrated Old Man’s Child. The next stages of their career, however, were not so kind on the band, as they struggled to establish themselves, or really kick on. Continue reading