Månegarm are since their inception one of the torchbearers of true pagan metal scene and appropriately as this year marks their 20th anniversary they are releasing their 8th, self titled full length which will prove to you crystal clear that pagan metal can be much deeper than jovial jumparound songs and it is for sure one strong genre to be reckoned with. Månegarm is very appropriately titled as this release represents the majority of the sound that Månegarm has dealt with throughout all this time – why I said majority, beacuse we cannot hear storming black metal sections from the first two albums but everything else is here in all its glory. After average 2013’s Legions of the North Månegarm came to their senses in two ways on the new album: first off, they have mainly returned to their mother tongue which suits better to their aesthetics and the second thing is that they have obviously focused much more to write cohesive album which is evident from the first listen. Månegarm opens with Blodörn, huge and long epic track that demonstrates the grandiosity of their sound and immediately invokes the vivid pictures in front of your mind’s eye. Fastest moments on this album are two songs sung in English called Odin Owns Ye All (is this one tribute to Einherjer?) and Call of the Runes, both of them are very catchy numbers and we are sure to see these in Månegarm’s live setlists. Rest of the album dwells in mid tempo waters colored with violin sound, we can say that this is traditional Månegarm’s style that sets them apart from other bands of similar ilk so that can only be a plus. But this is not the end as Månegarm decided to portray their acoustic side known from the fan favourite EP Urminnes hävd – The Forest Sessions so songs Blot, Vigverk – del II and Allfader will instantly take you there with those soothing acoustics and tender female vocals. All in all, after all these years Månegarm still proudly carry their flag and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary than to release the album of such high quality which proves that there’s still plenty of life in this horde!
- Napalm Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (8,5)