King Of Asgard
posted on 8/2010 By:
There's something about good folk metal that always allows us to feel a strong connection with the interesting planet on which we live. Personally, I've spent the past week or so wondering why that is, as Sweden's King of Asgard certainly fits into the above description. It is noteworthy that Quorthon himself, the godfather of folk metal, had already helped spawn an entirely new genre we now call black metal. That was 1983. Almost 30 years later, there remains an interesting fusion between these two genres. The traits that help define both of these genres are not mutually exclusive; however, it's extremely common (musically and lyrically) to see folk themes arise in black metal and vice versa. These seemingly conflicting genres have now been feeding off each other for a number of years and have continued to push metal to new emotional heights. After listening to Fi'mbulvintr, I'm convinced that the elements of both folk and black metal will continue to aid in the progression of the metal community as a whole.
The introduction and following three tracks of Fi'mbulvintr initially come off as sounding quite generic. Luckily, it's a bit easier to be patient with a freshman release; especially fun, whole-hearted folk metal such as this. After all, this is a band's interpretation of stories that many pagan cultures still hold sacred, even if they're not taken to the literal extreme that's all too frequent in other practices. Towards the end of "The Last Journey", however, Karl Beckman lets out a terrifying wail...one that could probably only be trumped by Ville Sorvali of Moonsorrow. From that point, Fi'mbulvintr stops acting like an album that only makes you want to listen to other folk metal bands. That's quite an impressive feat, and one that this powerful three-piece (which includes members of Falconer and Mithotyn) should be quite proud of.
King of Asgard might have been shy with the initial tracks they chose for the forefront of Fi'mbulvintr, but the lead solos and melodies in "Never Will You Know of Flesh Again" demonstrate the powerful songwriting potential that the band has. The blast beats continue to intensify, as the background vocal chants and crushing riffs of the rest of the tracks begin to melt (or in this case, freeze) your eardrums. While Fi'mbulvintr may not quite give the listener the desire to constantly revisit, it certainly has the endurance necessary to leave quite a few frosty gashes in your subconscious. Not to mention, it's catchy and emotional, which brings me back to my opening statement...the musical elements of black metal help allow the overall concept of the album to become terrifyingly vibrant.
There's something about good folk metal that always brings out the child in us. Although we're now living in a different time, the longing to fight against all forms of oppression and to enjoy and respect nature in its purest form remains constant. Fi'mbulvintr, although not the most original of folk metal releases, still gives me the desire to acquire the type of honor in hopes that forgotten ancestors and perhaps even Quorthon himself will greet me at Valhalla's gates once my journey is through. For that, I commend King of Asgard, and I urge fans of the genre to give them a chance.
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