posted on 9/2008 By:
Complete, total and unadulterated latter era Bathory worship.
The above line should actually determine if you are or are not interested in this Swedish band's debut album, but to clarify just go to the band's Myspace page and listen to “Awakening” and the title track just to be sure.
Folks, make no qualms about it, Ereb Altor (named after some D & D styled role playing board game) is a Hammerheart/Twilight of the Gods/Nordland era Bathory tribute band; long, deliberate, epic Viking riffage, airy choral vocal arrangements of honor, warriors and all things forest-y, frosty and mountain-y. I’ve seen this band/album called "Viking Doom”, and the moniker sort of fits. Out of respect for Quorthon, I'm afraid to say that this band completely rips off Bathory. And they do it very, very well, even down to Mats’ vocal delivery which (No disrespect to the deceased Quorthon) is actually better and less off-key than his obvious idol.
By Honour though, for all its obvious influences, is a damn good album. There’s an organic yet majestic, austere ambience to the plodding, steady riffage and Mats' vocals have a more epic, romantic quality than Quorthon ever did and there’s some nice use of somber acoustics and subtle synths to start tracks like the rangy epic “Wizard” and instrumental closer “Ereb Altor”. However, the likes of “Winter Wonderland” have me scrambling for my Bathory catalog to confirm if it is indeed a cover track or not.
If you enjoy, nicely done, doomy majestic Viking metal, Ereb Altor will appease you but more importantly, they look to be the hair apparent to a revered, legendary act. Based on this debut, they are up to it.
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