Monday, October 20, 2008

KAMPFAR - Heimgang CD review

KAMPFAR - Heimgang CD
Napalm Records

So far this year there have been two Black Metal releases that have knocked me back a loop. Not because of their sheer power or intensity but for the additional elements the bands have incorporated into their sound. Here is the third one of that type. This Norwegian Black Metal band not only blends Folk into their sound. It comes off sounding majestic and there's the knock out factor. Maybe it's just the effects of the season right now but listening to Heimgang is like being embraced with the essence of Autumn. Any band can add some Folk elements to their music. A acoustic guitar passage here maybe some flute in another place. KAMFAR simply infuses their Black Metal sound with this Pagan spirit without the use of traditional Folk instruments.

Now of course if you stare at the front cover long enough you'll be overwhelmed with an arboreal feeling. But it's the music that simply possesses the listener. The guitars, drums and bass gently flow on a melodic pace through out this whole release. Yes it's harsh but all the tracks on here conjure up this earthly sense. Obviously this was recorded in a studio. But when listening to the songs on here. I can picture KAMPFAR playing them in some valley. Their sound echoing off each mountainside. While the lion's share of Black Metal draws upon dark themes. KAMPFAR's is more earthy as if the countryside is speaking to you. Telling tales of the land and the people of old who walked upon it. Since vocalist, Dolk, sings in his native language it only adds more to this epic and dark listening experience.

The CD opens with "Vantro" then slowly builds momentum onward with songs like "Inferno" and "Dodens Vee". The guitars have this organic feel to them while Dolk's harsh vocals grab you by the collar to pull the listener in closer. Here he is screaming in your face while the rest of the band encircles you with furious sounds. Although the band does take a few slow down breaks here and there. The pace of the songs stays quick without being repetitious. Only at the end of the CD on "Vandring" does the band finally ease off the fury and allow you to rest. But if you're like me then you are pushing the replay button over and over again.

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