If you couldn’t guess by my handle, I love me some Viking metal. When the bassist for Immorgon, Joan de Ros Gotsens, reached out to me asking me to check out their first album And Thus We Raid citing influences like Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, and Unleashed, I was definitely interested.
Opener Tempest sets expectations accordingly, and Joan’s comparisons were mostly correct. While I don’t get a lot of Unleashed, Immorgon definitely sits halfway between Ensiferum and Amon Amarth. Tonally, I’m reminded more of the former, but the delivery is more the latter. The solo around the 3:30 mark provides a nice tempo change that builds to the driving finale to the song.
Svartheme is a mid-tempo marcher. At various points, drummer Steavy Marfil throws some triplets in between the beats. It’s a song that warrants several listens to pick up all the nuances throughout.
Stretching to over six and a half minutes, Death Upon Lindisfarne starts out with a pummelling death metal assault, but switches over to clean vocals for the refrain. I wish Charlie Trinkhorn’s cleans were a bit stronger, but I expect this is more of an experience/confidence issue than anything else and should improve with time.
Speaking of audio assault, songs such as The Crows Have Come, God of Blood, and The Everchosen embody the chaos of the titular raid. Especially noticable on God of Blood, the vocals stray into blackened territory, and it heightens the intensity.
While the production is solid overall, the guitar tone on Tempest had a bit of a tinny sound during the opening solo, but I didn’t notice it much through the rest of the album.
Overall, Immorgon has put out a solid Viking/melodeath album. While it definitely shows its influences, And Thus We Raid is a solid debut album, and these Spaniards have a great future ahead. Keep an eye on them, because I’m expecting their second album to make some significant waves.