Myrkgrav - _Trollskau, Skromt Og Kolabrenning_
(Det Germanske Folket, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
_TSOK_ is the debut album of one Lars Jensen, who performs a rather excellent take on Scandinavian Viking metal. This is not a particularly original interpretation -- elements of an array of significant Scandinavian players, from Manegarm to Windir, can be heard over the course of the album. But it's a damn good version, chockfull of varied and memorable songs, ranging from folksy ale-chuggers (particularly the cover of the traditional "De te Spellemann") through to melancholic reflection.

Like any Viking band worth its weight in plunder, Myrkgrav sings in his native Norwegian, albeit in the Ringeriks dialect. To this non-Norwegian speaker this means absolutely nothing, but Myrkgrav asserts that this is a more direct and personal way of speaking. The themes revolve around typical romantic nationalist topics -- though it must be noted that Jensen explicitly distances himself from the more radical elements.

An auspicious debut from a talent we will certainly be seeing more of in the future. My only hope is that he obtains a more distinctive sound.


(article published 4/2/2007)

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