|Review: Kampfar - Mare|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: April 13, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (10 Votes)
Kampfar's new album, Mare, is a grower. At least it has been for me. I was underwhelmed after the first spin by what seemed like pedestrian Black Metal. Repeated listens, however, have allowed Kampfar to sink their Norse hooks into my brain.
Kampfar's version of Black Metal is on the melodic side, with guitars that riff rather than tremolo pick. The drums are sharp and fast, but Kampfar never really run up to blast-beat speed, sticking with mid to fast tempos. I would stop short of calling Mare "symphonic," but keyboards are prevalent, though not the focus. That is saved for singer Dolk's evil, raspy vocals that somehow manage to both assault your ears while remaining relatively understandable (with a bit of effort.) The songs are all well played and engaging while they are on, but none is a real crusher and that's probably the biggest drawback on Mare. The songwriting is a little unimaginative.
Raw Black Metal, this is not. Nor is this Black Metal for sitting in cold, northern forests, and brooding. This is good, fist pumping, hammer swinging Black Metal that takes some time to appreciate, but it is time well spent.
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