Kamphar- Mellon Skogkledde Aaser (1997/2004)

What ding-dong dreamed up the idea to “digitally remastered” this album? Emperor started that stupid trend. While that album did sound like it was recorded in a cave with a bear being water-boarded in the background. But that was the exception, not the rule. Messing with the original version of an album has the same mentality as moving Confederate war memorials. It is an attempt to make history “better” instead of allowing future generations to make their own judgments.

Bands want to make their work as good as possible, but at the same time I want to listen to a 1997 album, not the 2004 reworked version of the album. The raw, dirty, analog sound was what made Black Metal and brought it to the attention of the world. Cleaning up this album changed what was originally a blackened pagan/folk sound to Viking Metal/ Symphonic Black Metal. While good, great really, it is not the album that I wanted to review.

Here is a review that explains and dissects the album in great detail. richieblackmetal is more generous and forgiving giving it 85%. I can’t label it a dumpster fire, but by 2004 the best symphonic black metal album had already been out for seven years. This work is akin to Bob Dylan reworking Blowing in the Wind in a hip-hop style. Remastering Mellon Skogkledde Aaser destroyed it’s historic relevance. It was a piece of the Norwegian black metal story and now it’s just another album.

Windir- Sogneriket (1994)

Windir is true Norwegian Viking Metal. So viking, in fact, that Valfar died in a blizzard walking through the cold northern woods to his family’s cabin.
The term Viking Metal often raises eyebrows and begs question of how relevant are all these genre names. Yakke often raises that question and dismisses the all the different genres with the contention that they’re just BS.
The genre names describe the sound, the song structor, composition, essentially what experience the listener is in for.
Viking Metal evolved out of Black Metal and listening to this album start to finish one can clearly hear the distinct style emerging in a few songs, stepping away from the screached English lyrics and adding elements of folk and power metal resulting in the start of a new genre.
This demo is good but not the best of Windir’s albums, though I enjoy it immensely because of all the different sounds that are being experimented with and the musical journey that the listener is taken apon.
A classic for the digital collection.

Metallum

Sogneriket 1994 demo