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Review: King of Asgard - Fi'mbulvintr
King of Asgard

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 52:37
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black/Folk Metal

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: September 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (8 Votes)

King of Asgard are one of a slew of bands that have been incorporating folk influences into a black metal base. With an authentic Norse influence as well, it comes as no surprise that many of these songs are about battles, mythology, and "the North." Add to that an album title like Fi'mbulvintr, and you can immediately expect Norse pride to run through this release, and you'd be absolutely right. This album sounds as if a quartet of Vikings timewarped into 2010 to record an album about their triumphs. There isn't anything remarkably original here, but King of Asgard have a fierce sound that is nothing short of warlike.

The music here sounds like Dissection meets Heidevolk. The minimalistic instrumentation style is absent however, and in its place is a heavy, crunchy riff style similar to Immortal's later years, just not as massive. Instead, King of Asgard attempt to sound both violent and majestic. The folky atmosphere of the aforementioned Heidevolk is here, but more than anything, the band has an energy to them that is purely bellicose. Karl Beckman's vocals bring this mentality forth more than anything else, as he can alternate between a melodic scream and the more traditional growling. What's most important about King of Asgard is not their individual instruments, but the overall feeling on this album. It's dark and moody, but most importantly, fierce and Nordic.

It's not all glorious battle hymns, though. This album is a bit too long for its own good, and by the end, it dips in quality. Part of that is due to how great the opener is. After a song like "Einharjar," it takes a lot of strong material to match up, and King of Asgard just aren't able to do that on Fi'mbulvintr. The songs begin to drag into one another and become undistinguished. The band's one dimensional, yet quite cool, angry mystique has faded.

This is a promising debut. King of Asgard have pinpointed their authentically Norse sound. While there are dozens of popular bands playing this style now, and I have a feeling that the genre is on its way out, they nevertheless create music with a vengeful and energetic atmosphere.

Other related information on the site
Review: …to North (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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