I’ve been a huge fan of folk metal, Scando-Germanic mythology, and related themes for many years, but there has been a tendency for this type of metal to get stale over the years. Can the Swedes in From North show me something new on their self-titled debut, or will it be another trip across familiar oceans?
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.
So-called "pagan" metal can be a tricky beast. Ranging from dissonant black metal with the thematic lyrics buried under muddy production to blackened folk metal, you never know which you’re getting into until you hit the "Play" button. Fortunately, Spain’s Hordak lean heavily to the latter, which is more up my alley. The band presents their fourth album, Padre, and they pretty much nail it.
The Ukraine seems like an odd place for a group of Viking warriors, but Mykolaiv’s Miellnir emerge from the mountains with their ten-track debut album, Incineration Astern.