Svartsot

Maledictus Eris

Written by: MH on 27/07/2011 17:23:10

Denmark does not have our biggest share when it comes to Folk Metal bands, but what we do have is Svartsot. The Danish number one folk metal band are already out with their third album though their last album "Mulmets Viser" from 2010 is still pretty new. With their memorable flute melodies, Svartsot's music usually has a joyful atmosphere despite the death metal influence in their music. "Maledictus Eris" meaning "Cursed Thou Shall Be" is an album title that brings up a darker side of this band, and it can be heard in the music as well.

Svartsot is a word for the black death disease that killed 30% to 60% of the European population. It is said that it spread from black rats that often were onboard merchant ships. And this album is about the plague carried by sea in the 14th century. The record opens with a 48 seconds long intro, with quietly played folk instruments and Danish voices sharing rumours of an English ship loaded with riches and about people getting sick and dying, which creates a harbor tavern atmosphere before the album really starts.

The lyrics are sung in Danish with deep growls and occasional screams. The guitars have become much more melodic, which has made Svartsot sound more mature than ever. They have included more layers in their music, lute and flute appear as in good Svartsot style throughout the record. In comparison to most of their earlier musi, apart from "Farsoten Kom", the melodies sound much more epic instead of festive. Now when they have downscaled the joyful sound can we at least get more folk elements you say? Well, of course, there are bagpipes in some of the songs like in "Gud Giv Det Vare Ved!" and "Holdt Net Af En Tjørn". The bagpipes make the folk instruments more dominating than ever.

There is one song in particular that opens a gateway to a time of darkness and death. "Spigrene" is sung with clean vocals, and is a story from a man who saw the plague consume his country and loved ones. Though the clean vocals are not sung with any spectacular singing voice, the song hits a spot and paints a perfect picture of how it must have been to live in that time, and to be frank it gives me the goosebumps.

With a new, yet memorable sound this album really hits the spot! It is a concept album, which is well produced, and gives the listener a gaze into the dark times of the 14th century. This is without any doubt a fantastic Folk Metal album and will probably make it to my personal top 10 albums of the year. And for that they deserve a confident

9

Download: Holdt Net Af En Tjørn, Om Jeg Lever Kveg, Spigrene, Og Landet Ligger Så Øde Hen
For the fans of: Vanir, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 29.07.2011
Napalm Records

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