Written by: EW on 15/06/2009 11:59:10

Let the Scandinavian folk invasion continue! Next on the gilded chopping board is Glittertind, a Norwegian band residing lower down on the scales of both sonic extremity and name recognition at this point in their career. Their take on the concoction of traditional folk melodies and metal has resulted here in a unique, if not interesting, album that I defy anyone to really get in 1 or 2 listens such is the blend of odd-sounding ingredients.

From the very beginning, title track "Landkjenning", tells you this won't be the usual ride. Distinctly male choral vocals in a thick, deep Scandinavian accent sing loud and proud before upbeat Manowar-esque riffage kicks in, taking the song through different lands all of which feel rather out of sync with the staccato pace of the aforementioned vocals. "Går Min Eigen Veg" is a totally unpretentious journey featuring whistles and acoustic guitars for it's first half, and such is its lack of vigour it could have quite easily sat comfortably amongst some dreadful pop record. Or a Led Zeppelin one, if we're being kind to Glittertind. For those most on the ball at this point, "Longships and Mead" bears an uncannily similar name to popular song from a Scottish pirate-themed band who I am not a fan of. Yes, "Longships and Mead" also sounds like Alestorm with a pirate jig here and an accordion jag there and helps pick up the pace for a bit from here on. "Glittertind" is just weird - consisting of a chorus that I'm sure Green Day have used, some Finntroll bounce and a touch of Arkona-ian folk it doesn't know what to be. And then, oh no, a whole Green Day song! "Jeg Snører Min Sekk" is Green Day sprinkled liberally with a penny whistle that is as unconvincing as it sounds. By the time the Opeth inspired "Mot Myrke Vetteren" comes round my head in such a spin that what is a pretty inspired take on Opeth's "Damnation" sound is negated by my confusion of exactly what I'm still listening to.

You see the problem there? "Landkjenning" suffers the problem of being a jack of all trades, master of none. What reveal themselves to be the album's better songs such as the Týr-like "Brede Seil Over Nordsjø Går" and "Mot Myrke Vetteren" reveal two directions Glittertind might have been better off focusing on, but the end result is an album that flirts with too many disparate sounds, and never quite nails on the head any of them. Some refinement of ideas and greater dedication to making a more listenable album is what Glittertind need from here to become that more recognised name.


Download: Brede Seil Over Nordsjø Går, Mot Myrke Vetteren
For The Fans Of: Týr, Fejd, Falkenbach, Wardruna
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 01.06.09
Napalm Records

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