This is the first full length album from this Norwegian pagan folk metal band. According to Wikipedia, the name Asmegin
comes from old Norse
, and means "by the might of the gods." It claims that the songs were written in Norwegian, old Norse
, and older dialects of Norwegian. But I think that I can hear a couple of sentences in English on the album. It says that some of the songs were modeled from the Norwegian play, Peer Gynt(1867), by Henrik Ibsen. It must have been the lyrical content that was modeled after this play, because Henrik Ibsen was a play writer and not a musical composer. The album art depicts what looks like a witch, stirring a kettle of potion, at night under a full moon. The album title, Hin Vordende Sod & So, means "the prospective broth and soup", in Norwegian. Maybe this was meant to be a hint of the eclectic ensemble of musical instruments and styles that make this album so diversified.
The guitars thrash and shred very good. The bass and drum playing are also very good. The rhythm section also includes the use of piano, organ, mellotron, violin, harp, accordion, and country flutes. The music is never boring. The music seems to be influenced by the romantic period of music(1820-1900), where individualism and emotion were stongly expressed in the music. It's also very folkloric with some influence from the renaissance period of music, where there was a strong emphasis on cultural ideals and humanistic values. The songs are excellently written and composed.
All of the clear vocals display an excellence of sound and performance. The Beautiful female singing is performed by Sareeta(also playing the violin) and Anne Marie Hveding. The female voices exhibit a variety of alto and soprano pitches. The male vocals fall into 2 categories, grim(harsh) and clear(the typical good versus evil strategy). But These 2 male vocal approaches can also be broken down further, into 2 different categories(or styles). There are 2 different grim voices that appear. One is deeper with a humoresque sound similar to the grim vocals of Ingo Tauer from Riger
. The other sounds more angry with a higher pitch and sounds more like the grim vocals of Vintersorg
. The (male) clear vocals also fall into 2 categories, baritone and tenor. The clear voices are used in a fugue style or in breathtaking choruses that are rarely matched by other artists. They give Vintersorg
some extremely tough competition. Bruderov Paa Haegstadtun thrashes with a very catchy melody accompanied by grim(harsh) vocals, then the fiddle comes into play, and then the beautiful male choruses. It goes back through the same structural pattern and ends with beautiful female choruses. The song Huldradans-Hin Gronkledde feature duel acoustic guitars playing very sophisticated music with an extremely beautiful female duet. First the alto, then the soprano, then the chorus. Then the whole pattern is repeated for a second time. Til Rondefolkets Herscab(check out the nice video for this song, that I've picked out for this review)starts off sounding like a heavy Riger
song and then progresses with the fiddle and some great male choruses. With female vocals and both types of grim vocals in the background at different moments. This is an awesome song.
The whole album is very good. The cross rhythms provide pleasing combinations of sounds for unique textures. It's like a patchwork of musical styles like Windir
, and Arkona
all sewn together to form an impressive quilt. If you like pagan folk metal, you should check this album out. I don't think that it gets any better than this.