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Æþelruna – Risci Bita Wudu

Risci Bita Wudu
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 January 2023, 1:31 PM

From their EPK, “Æþelruna started in 2011 after the previous incarnation Adalruna ended. Where Adalruna was a celebration of pan-Germanic unity, Æþelruna focusses on pre-Christian English (or Anglo-Saxon) heritage, with most vocals being performed in Old English by the sole member, Wulfhelm. The album has three songs.

“Saga hƿæt ic hatte” is the first. It’s a lengthy 15-minute song. Some of the Folky elements come out as chants in the opening, followed by soft strings. The mood is somber and I picture never-ending rain in the Scottish highlands. There is a slow build to the raging Black Metal sound, and some of the symphonic elements remain, but lighter compared to the maelstrom. From there, the combination of the two styles is nicely done. You can feel the composition starting to take shape, with ominous backing vocals and even a guitar solo. He speckles in some orchestral elements, including strings and a recorder. The ending sequence is almost like watching a tragic play, where everything comes together against you.

Ƿe gebloten is much shorter; a two-and-a-half-minute offering of grandiose leads and heavy rhythms and even some female vocals. It moves forward without a second thought, and without any room for ambient elements. “Þæs ofereode þisses sƿa mæg” closes the album; a 25-minute opus. This is a lot of time to develop a song, or it could provide an artist with the noose he needs to hang himself. In other words, how are you going to properly fill a song of this length? The interesting part is, that while I listen to this, I didn’t count the minutes. I just enjoyed the subtle shifts, and the transitions in and out of grey skies and blue ones. Still, this is a lot of sound to stretch into a 25-minute composition. Alternating waves of depression are met with rage.

Overall, this album showed potential. The folky instruments played a pretty steady roll throughout the album, and the Black Metal elements didn’t take over too much. It was an interesting combination that did feel a little disjoined at times, however. But it was also something unique and off the beaten path compared to a lot of other albums that I have heard recently. I remain intrigued.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Saga hƿæt ic hatte
2. Ƿe gebloten
3. Þæs ofereode þisses sƿa mæg
Record Label: Independent


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