Vanir

Særimners Kød

Written by: MST on 29/03/2011 14:32:28

Bagpipes, whistles, accordion, lyrics about Odin and Thor - oh yes, this is folk metal. Vanir are a young danish folk metal band, and their debut full-length Særimners Kød consists of 11 songs of folk/viking metal in the vein of bands like Korpiklaani, Alestorm, Finntroll and the already established danish folk metal frontiersmen in Svartsot.

Speaking of those bands, if I was to be skeptical with this release I guess I could say that Vanir aren't really bringing anything new to the table. On top of the heavy metal and at times black metal riffs we find accordion keys that could be influenced by Alestorm, whistles that remind me of Svartsot, the bagpipes that actually make me think of Korpiklaani's violin, fast beer-drinking-friendly melodies that could resemble those of the aforementioned Fins, mid-tempo melodies that immediately make me think of Svartsot and Heidevolk, background gang choirs that almost all folk metal bands have, lyrics that Svartsot have done similarly before, mostly screamed vocals a la Finntroll but also growled vocals a la Svartsot and even what sounds like a troll wandering about before being attacked by an army, which reminds me of Finntroll's numerous song intros. Sure, everything is more or less heard before. But luckily for Vanir I focus on the execution of the music instead of thinking of who the band could've gotten their ideas from. And luckily for me, Vanir succeed.

The folk instruments generally take up the most space in the soundscape. There's almost always at least one folk instrument to be heard, and the guitars remain in the background. The guitars could arguably have played a bigger role in the music, but I don't think that the other instruments playing bigger roles ruins anything. The folk instruments and guitars follow each other in order to create great melodies that will surely make beers sway from side to side, like in the excellent "Gildet" in which accordion keys and guitars create the melodies in the verses and the whistles replace the accordion in the chorus. The same can be said for the rest of the album, like in the title track in which the first growled vocals and bagpibes are found. The compositions are generally very well done, as the bagpibes, accordion keys or whistles never seem out of place to me, and the transitions always seem natural. The folk instruments are also played incredibly well. Sadly, there is a single problem in this album: the production is somewhat lacking, mostly in the vocals and guitars, which lowers the grade slightly.

If you dislike Svartsot's whistles, Korpiklaani's violin or Alestorm's accordion keys you will definitely dislike a lot about Vanir, but then again, if you do, why have you read this far into this review? Despite the complexity caused by the vast amount of instruments, this is light-hearted music meant for partying, drinking and generally just having a good time. Put on your kilts, grab your drinking horns and fill them with mead, put some Vanir on and drink your way to Asgaard!

Download: Gildet, Særimners Kød, Lokes Listighed, Holmgang
For The Fans Of: Svartsot, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Alestorm, Heidevolk
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 11.04.2011
Mighty Music / Target

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