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Review: Jotunspor - Gleipnirs Smeder
Gleipnirs Smeder

Label: Cold Spring
Year released: 2006
Duration: 35:22
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 18, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Gleipnirs Smeder

Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (4 Votes)

Jotunspor (meaning traces or tracks of Giants in Norwegian) is a collaboration between King ov Hell and Kvitrafn, past and present members of the infamous Gorgoroth. The project was formed as a total tribute to Norse history, with each track relaying topics such as the creation of the world and Ragnarok, Svartalvheim and the infamous wolf Fenris (who was shackled via the magical chain Gleipnir – the title of the album actually meaning 'The Forgers of Gleipnir').

Musically, it's fairly well produced but filth ensconced eerie black metal for the most part, with ambient interludes adding further texture and atmosphere to the proceedings as well as the occasional small touches of industrial stirred into the brew. The guitar tone reeks (unsurprisingly) like a cross between Gorgoroth and newer Mayhem, with the discordant rumbling climbing above all else in the generally mid-paced to fast paced riffs. Vocally, there's a mixture of heavily processed effect-laden black metal vocals, straightforward phlegm-gargling as well as a few sections with sparsely laid clean vocals to bring a diverse edge to the sound. The thing that irks me about this album however, is the layout and order of the track listing strangely enough. For example, the 2nd track 'Svartalvheims Djup', is a 7 minute entirely dark ambient track. For an album closer, this is all well and good, but for a track just one song into the album it doesn't sit too well, and certainly doesn't help the overall flow when absorbing the album in one sitting. Inaccessibility for inaccessibility's sake, or just poor judgment? I'd guess at the former. But something as simplistic as that has made all the difference between a great album, and a truly excellent album for me.

The album is still pretty damn tasty mind, hence the respectable score given. However, had it have run better as an album with less disjointed stop/starting it could've scored higher given the quality of the material.

Other related information on the site
Review: Gleipnirs Smeder (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
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