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Band Name Voluspaa
Album Name Åsa
Type Album
Data de aparición 10 Enero 2010
Labels Self-Produced
Estilo MusicalViking Black
Miembros poseen este álbum7


1. Av Sin Klokskap
2. Hennes Røst
3. Reis Deg Min Herre
4. Hvorfor...
5. Djupet
6. En Hymne til Våre Udødelige Forfedre
7. Ei Folkevise
8. Mens Månen Lyser Opp
9. Min Plikt Som Far
10. Vandring
11. En Tid Tilbale

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Crónica @ vikingman369

04 Abril 2011

a re-use of the old, but in a fresh, new way

I was tricked into listening to this album; it was in my suggestions list in regards to "Viking Metal." Well, when I first gave this a listen, I knew that they were mistaken. According to my definition of Viking Metal (Blood on Ice/Nordland Bathory, Turisas, Ensiferum and such), this band was not such. Quite frankly, this band is as black metal as any of the others.

Here's why. There is nothing really new about the music. Everything we've seen in black metal bands of the 90s Norwegian scene - blast-beats, growled vocals, tremolo-picking, chorused chanting, clean vocals, atmospherics, strings, acoustic guitars, keyboard, female vocals, even the fact that the band is relatively unrecognized - its all there. Perhaps the only new thing about Åsa is the quality. It is top-notch, a far cry from the hiss of older black metal. But even that is not something all that new: other bands have also adopted a higher production sound.

So, the question remains, why should one get this album? It's definitely different, though it does not exactly bring in techniques new to the black metal scene. One different thing is the very frequent use of acoustic guitars and/or melodic passages. I'm not privy to the band's reasoning for having so many and so frequently, but I feel that such are always needful. Especially when considering the deconstructionist ideology prevalent in the atheists of the black metal scene. After all, if, philosophically, good cannot exist without evil, then, musically, fast, hard and heavy cannot exist without the soft, melodic and acoustic. To know one is to know what the other is not, and therefore it is just as important to arpeggio and strum away as it is to shred like any of the thousands of black metal fuckers out there.

High points of the album are as follows. Track one, "Av Sin Klokskap", features a nice acoustic intro, then explodes with the usual black metal stuff, though with chanted clean vocals and sweet riffs before the actual screaming comes in. It sets the style of many of the songs to follow with the acoustic guitars interspersed throughout the track, as well as some nice keyboard work as well. "Hennes Røst" has some decent drumming, more varied than the usual floor-hi-hat-snare abuse of traditional black metal, and some of the sweetest riffage on this album. It doesn't stop for acoustic guitar passages, but has plenty of sweet keyboard work.

The epic Nordic chanting reaches its high-mark on "Reis Deg Min Herre", which, once it starts getting heavy, is somewhat slow but follows the heavy-soft pattern of many tracks on this album, as well as having an aria featuring the clean female vocals of Hildr Valkyrie, the band's session vocalist and guest star. It's definitely as bombastic as the big hits by Bathory, and therefore has a definite viking feel to it. "Ei Folkevise" starts out with some nice strings before going heavy, but with two arias to showcase the singing capabilities of Freddy Skogstad. Perhaps the greatest song that really stick out on this album is "Mens Månen Lyser Opp". It is completely acoustic/keyboard, hearkening back to the ominous "Kledt I Nattens Farger" of Ulver-fame of the olden days of the 90s Norwegian scene.

In summation, what we have here is nothing new to the scene. It's still the same kind of black metal as of old...but is it? With an audibly clear sound and a deconstructionist view of the speed of black metal, what we have here is a re-use of the old, but in a fresh, new way.

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