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Cult of Frey – By the Blood of Odin: Part 1 - Midgard

Cult of Frey
By the Blood of Odin: Part 1 - Midgard
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 26 July 2020, 9:40 AM

CULT OF FREY is a Folk/Pagan Metal band from East Yorkshire, England. They began their career back in 1991 and from 1994 to 2005 they were on hiatus. Back in 2005 they reformed as SLEIPNIR and released two albums, ‘’Bloodbrothers’’ in 2008 and ‘’Oaths Sworn in Blood & Mead’’ in 2013. Basically it was the same band but with another name. In 2020 they decided to come back to CULT OF FREY and released this longtime coming offering. For people that were wondering and obviously don’t know, Frey is one of the various Norse Gods in Central Sweden.

‘’We Were Born of Odin (Once We Were Kings Part 3)’’ is a good way to start off an album, I think it sets the tone for the rest of the album and gives you the direction where the band is going to go. The two man team of Tossell and Paul Clark deliver something that is akin to the first TYR albums, very theatrical Folk Pagan Metal, a lot of spoken words at the beginning of the songs and powerful continuance.

Don’t be expecting something along the lines of AMON AMARTH even if on the surface it deals with Viking Metal, I know a lot of you are streamlined to thinking Viking Metal is that particular band but CULT OF FREY offer something quite different. The Viking and Norse lore is everpresent and makes it a very interesting subject matter all in all but the mood of the album reminds me a lot of BORKNAGAR’s ‘’Quintessence’’ back in 2000. You have a lot of progressive shifts, voice changes and experimental instrumentation. No song is alike but all have that haunting atmosphere. Not bad for a two man group that sounds like ten.

The music has a very cinematic feel to it and it’s going to be an extraordinary journey back in time, when Vikings ruled the land and sea. They are the telling a story about the warriors that were born with the strength and wisdom of the god Odin. All our Odin’s children and they possess inheritance of Power and Will when they come into battle. The album is a telling of warriors that come to battle, some will stand and some will fall but they continue to will their way to victory. They will never back down even in defeat to accomplish their goal and each passing song has a message of pride and growing inner strength. You can feel the pain and anguish, and the glory of these warriors throughout their perils. Obviously the journey is not always going to end the best way possible and sometimes victory is through self destruction which was the case back in the olden days. The album has a great progression and can be uplifting or it can be quite dramatic.

If you like TYR and the older BORKNAGAR albums, this is like a mix of both of these bands and it has that cinematic feel like the concept albums of BLIND GUARDIAN. You have a bit of narration and the story unfolds before your eyes and makes the 70 minutes opus pass by like flying colors. A truly epic and masterful story from these UK Lads.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. We Were Born of Odin (Once We Were Kings Part 3)
2. Lament of the Fallen
3. The Bravest Ones Are the First to the Fall
4. Northwind (Carry Him Home)
5. We Forge This Land (In Blood and Steel)
6. Ten Thousand Strong
7. Life in the Shield Wall
8. Death in the Shield Wall (Song of the Ravens)
Lineup:
Paul Clark – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Tossell – Vocals
Record Label: UKEM Records
     


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