Manegarm – Legions of the North4th July 2013
MANEGARM are a Swedish Viking/Pagan/Folk Metal band that were formed in 1995 and this is their 7th release and the first with the vocals in English instead of Swedish. Was this done to get a bigger following? Maybe, it worked for DIMMU BORGIR as they didn’t make it big until they switched to English lyrics and released ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’, although previous album ‘Stormblast’ was a great. Now I haven’t been following black/Viking metal for a while now, although All About The Rock has introduced me to some new bands on the way like GOD SEED, POSTHUM, GOATCRAFT and so on. Viking Metal is currently getting more popular and lots of bands are coming out of the long ship wood work to get in on the berserker pillaging action…
The main question is, do MANEGARM succeed in their battle cry to Odin or does Ægir show his wrath and sink them to the ocean floor? Well I can say that MANEGARM succeed and ride into battle with Tyr by their side!
MANEGARM have risen to Asgard and the album ‘Legions of the North’ will vastly swell the ranks of MANEGARM fans, their combination of marauding and savage music mixed with the soothing breeze of ancient spirits and the melodic ambience of epic atmospheres entwine to create majestic tales that grab your attention. While the tales are told through the warrior growls, group calls and bard like clean vocals that form a union to match the powerful and epic musical structures they have created.
While ‘Legions of the North’ has some truly epic songs in the form of “Hordes of Hel” were the warriors stand tall and prepare for battle with the persistent incitement of the oncoming bloodshed, all the while an infectious melody wraps itself around the brutality of war. While “Sons of War” is a song that could be sung on the march to war with the group sung warrior chorus and the blizzard of scathing riffs attacking the senses. While the whole tale is closed by the beautiful ‘Raadh’ which is an acoustic piece sung in Swedish, where the male and female vocals entwine to create an emotional closing song.
MANEGARM might have been around for 18 years and this is their first album in English, but I think the change will pay off and these Viking will soon not have to pillage to survive (maybe just for entertainment) as they will amass a small fortune if they carry on in this vein.
SCORE – 8.5/10
TRACKS TO DOWNLOAD – ‘Hordes of Hel’, ‘Sons of War’, ‘Echoes from the Past’, ‘Raadh’
02. Legions Of The North
03. Eternity Awaits
05. Hordes Of Hel
06. Tor Hjälpe
08. Sons Of War
09. Echoes From The Past
11. Forged In Fire