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Review: Manegarm - Nordstjärnans Tidsålder
Nordstjärnans Tidsålder

Label: Black Lodge
Year released: 1998
Duration: 43:02
Tracks: 11
Genre: Viking Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 9, 2007
Reviewed by: Nicholas Lazarus
Readers Rating
Nordstjärnans Tidsålder

Rated 3.2/5 (64%) (5 Votes)

It's only logical, being that Black Metal is the parent genre of Viking metal, that a considerable number of Viking metal bands start out with a sound that is predominantly Black Metal.

Månegarm show here that they could have just as easily remained a folk-tinged Black Metal band and still completely demolished most of their contemporaries. This early offering is Black Metal, with atmosphere and the occasional break for a folk passage.

The playing on a technical level is rough around the edges, it's obvious the band really got tighter later on. There are times when the music stumbles into sounding like some generic Norwegian style Black Metal band. But thankfully, the album is dominated by pummeling Black Metal that will at times hint at the melodic grandeur of future releases. It's much like what Månegarm is today with a layer stripped back to reveal rawness and talents not completely honed yet.

Cold and mighty is the tone here. It's raw Pagan Black Metal, through and through. Abundant atmosphere: nicely tweaked production, and distant sounding female vocals. Unbridled energy: punishing Black Metal riffs with the occasional Viking greatness they come to be known for. Tasteful folk essence: well executed folk sections show this band may have already mastered this aspect of their craft at such an early stage. You needn't much else to make a great folk-tinged Black Metal album.

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