Myrkvar - As En Bloed

Formed of the ashes of Black Metal group Lord Astaroth, Myrkvar is a mix of both Viking Folk Metal and Black Metal. On their sophomore effort 'As En Bloed," the group presses on with their focus on the Folk side of the music by incorporating more violin amongst the melodic guitars and harsh Black Metal vocals. Right from the opening "Noodlot" one can definitely tell that the group wanted to go in a more epic direction that sounded less Black Metal and more Viking/ Folk oriented with the soft use of female vocals (sadly drowned out by the violins most of the time unfortunately) and heavy use of the violin. Some fans might argue that this dumbs down the ferocity of the Black Metal, or puts Myrkvar in more of a category of Melodic Folk Death Metal similar to that of a group like Eluveitie, but it is safe to say that the group strives hard to forge their own sound overall. While many of the tracks tend to use the same formula of a Melodic Black Metal style with the guitars behind the violins- which still surprisingly dominate the sound overall a bit too much- between tracks like "Voorspelling" or "In Aegirs Hall," there are a bit more Viking Metal influences on the other tracks.

Similar to Heidevolk, Myrkvar has a tendency to use the deep lulling singing vocals that are popular amongst Folk Metal bands. "Gjallarhoorn" is an excellent mix of harsh vocal and celan vocal work during the chorus, despite how the violin tends to overtake them in their power. "Twistengod" is more of a Tavern Metal piece that may be one of the few tracks where the guitars get a fighting chance to lead on the song, but overall the entire piece is somewhat cheesy, if not quite enjoyable in its rather cliche Folk Metal style. Even the clean vocals pull it off. "Widars Wrak" brings more of the 'battle metal' atmosphere through the layered vocals; sometimes one will be singing while the others shouting bits in the background, but it never clashes against each other. Finally there is the closing epic sounding instrumental "Uit..." Unlike the opening sorrowfully upbeat piece that introduced the ever popular violin, it feels like the violin finally decided to give out and overall the entire track is gloomy, but an excellent choice for a closer. Even the piano addition is a fantastic choice. Overall, those who like Folk Metal mixed with Black Metal are going to love this album, and those who felt that the group's debut was a bit too cliche may find this a bit more interesting, as long as they don't mind an over-abundance of violin.


  1. Noodlot
  2. Voorspelling
  3. Nagelschip
  4. Gjallarhoorn
  5. Asenbloed
  6. Twistengod
  7. Balders Dood
  8. In Aegirs Hal
  9. Vigrid Brandt
  10. Widars Wraak
  11. Donderslag
  12. Uit As Herrezen

Shiver Records
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jul 24, 2012

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