This is the 5th full length album from this Swedish viking black metal quintet. They are from Nortjalle, which is located about 37 miles northeast of Stockholm, and about 14 miles from the coast of the Baltic Sea. According to Wikipedia, their name comes from Manegarmr, which was a wolf in ancient Nordic mythology. Vargstenen
means the wolf stone in the Swedish language. This was their first concept album. The songs were all written in Swedish, so I don't know what the story line is behind this concept.
Ur Sjalslig Dod is a heavy song with a catchy Nordic rhythm. The violin playing adds a nice touch to this song. There is a slow part towards the middle of this song and female vocals appear there. Then the song picks up the pace again. The violin plays a melody that reminds me of Iron Maiden.
I Underjorden is a very good folk metal song, with nice choruses. It almost sounds as good as a Vintersorg
Nio Dagar; Nio Natter rocks more intensely with a cool rhythm. It has some very heavy interludes.
shreds with 2 different melodies playing simultaneously. This interweaving provides an interesting texture. There are some good choruses in this song and a sharp guitar solo towards the end.
There are a couple of boring songs on this album, like Den Gamle Talar(an instrumental), and Eld.
Vocalist/drummer Erik Grawsio sings with a very good clean voice(tenor) and an excellent grim voice(baritone). He's a very skilled drummer. The balance of this music is more focused on the bass and violins, than it is the on the 2 guitarists. Though they are playing, these guitars are usually played at a low register, there isn't a lot of flashy guitar playing. Violinist Janne Liljeqvist plays a lot of Iron Maiden like melodies and they provide great cross rhythms. This band likes to use elongated notes and altered chords to emphasize certain parts of their music. Similar bands are Eluveitie
, and Moonsorrow
. On the video, you'll see that vocalist Erik Grawsio isn't playing the drums. That
's because they use drummer Jason
Hellkvist for their tours, so that Erik can front the band more effectively.