Als Een Woeste Horde
posted on 2/2009 By:
Myrkvar were always going to be facing an uphill battle with their full length debut Als Een Woeste Horde (Like A Fierce Horde). First, it was recorded back in 2006 and was not released until 2008, second, 2008 was a busy and stellar year for folk/viking metal (Equilibrium, Moonsorrow, Kivimetsan Druidi, Eluveitie, Tyr, Alestorm, Arkona etc.) and third, the Netherlands just isn’t considered a hotbed for the genre.
Still, Myrkvar at least picked a time where pagan/folk/viking metal is getting more attention as various pagan and heathen fest bands tour the world and namely the US, so at least Myrkvar are striking while the iron is hot, despite the fact their album A) sounds almost three years old and B) just isn’t on par with any of their peers.
With a more raw, blacker backbone, Myrkvar come across like a poor man's Finntroll as they still have all elements for the prototypical folk/viking album: violins, strings and synths and piano keys litter moody blackish riffs, a humpa styled bounce, various ethnic injections and interludes of various degrees (intro “Stilte Voor De Storm” and outro “Helreid Brynhilde”). In its entirety the visage is competent, but never comes close to anything as good as the genre's obvious standouts, despite their best effort. Tracks like “I Viking,” “Trollisfarne,” “De Jajersmaan,” “Den Ware Held (Sigurd En De Draak)” and especially “Geboren Uit Oorlogslendenen” cement the Finntroll comparison with ample jig blast and rasp, but do little to make even the hardened folk metal fan return for another listen. Also, with most of the songs hovering between the 6 and 8 minute mark and its 50 minute running mark, Als Een Woeste Horde tests the usually short attention span of folk metal fans.
However, I should reiterate Als Een Woeste Horde isn’t a bad album as it has all the element folk metal fans enjoy, but the album just never reaches the bar set by other released despite its best efforts.
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