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Aurvandil - Thrones

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 April 2014, 11:33 PM

AURVANDIL is a Black Metal band from France.  In Norse mythology, AURVANDIL was a giant who was carried by Thor in a basket across the Elivagar Ice Rivers. When the cold waters froze AURVANDIL’s toe, Thor broke it off and placed it in the night sky as a star.  He was the husband of the witch Groa.

“Thrones” contains four Black Metal Tracks. The opening track, “For Whom Burnest Thou”, had a long, mood setting intro, with acoustic guitar, and haunting chants. As with much of the pure delivery method in this genre, the music is set for atmosphere. Slowly it builds into a rhythmic pace, before a dirty, fuzzy guitar enters the fray, and the percussion into a frenzy.  The vocals are agonizing, indiscernible wails.  At its core, it is brooding and evil, with a downtrodden and despondent sound.

“The Harvest of Betrayal”, however, opens with bombast, and a slightly quicker pace.  The imagery it invokes for me involves me running through a deep, dark, and black forest, with evil all around me.  No matter how hard I try and how fast I run, I cannot break free. Red eyes appear here and there, howls, and tortured wails of shadowy creatures I cannot completely see.  Somewhere there is an old concrete throne, overgrown with brush, at the foot of the largest tree in the forest.  But I cannot find it.  Impending doom, despair, and death wait for me.

Switching gears a bit, “Summon the Storms” might even be a bit jolly to start, with a folky sort of sound from the acoustic guitar strumming.  This is the pagan/folk side of the genre that often accompanies the dark/evil side.  But it only lasts for a brief passage of time, before maddened frenzy returns.  It is at times difficult to distinguish one song from another during these furious passages.  It almost entrances you.  But towards the end of the song there is an interlude that breaks up some of the main melody, and change of pace transition as the song fades away.

The closing track, “Ingen Lindring”, has a similar pattern to the previous track.  Again we have an acoustic interlude that breaks up the pattern, this time with the squeal of guitar feedback.  Following the interlude, we have a more structured passage, with spoken words. A marching, authoritative acoustic passage takes us to the end of the album.

In sum, AURVANDIL offer up a plate of very traditional and pure Black Metal, with no pretention, and little sway from the genre boundaries.  It is music you might expect to hear in Hell itself. In many ways, the lack of a traditional song structure is exactly the point of the music.  Though the meter is usually set in 4/4, there is never a traditional pattern of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus.  I can appreciate the vision and effort that was put into the album.  Though it is not a sound that I can easily identify with, I do believe Black Metal fans will like the album.

3 Star Rating

1. For Whom Burnest Thou
2. The Harvest of Betrayal
3. Summon the Storms
4. Ingen Lindring
Aurvandil – All Instruments / Vocals
Wiedergaenger – Drums
Record Label: Eisenwald Records


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