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Ereb Altor – Järtecken

Ereb Altor
by John Paul Romero at 20 August 2019, 10:19 PM

Eleven years after EREB ALTOR’s grand entrance “By Honour”, they are releasing their most explosive album as of late known otherwise as “Järtecken”. This was two years after “Ulfven” and three years after the BATHORY covers album “Blot · Ilt · Taut”. Once again, the Swedish quartet unleashes an album with tons of references to BATHORY’s primer ages.

The album launches with Swedish song “Avgudadyrkans Väg”, containing classic Viking Metal atmosphere along with really breathtaking chanted vocals. It then slowly propagates into a rather loud and aggressive battle hymn, revealing their opposite poles. “With Fire In My Heart…” follows a nearly similar progression with calmer early moments before propelling into a dark and aggressive soundscape.

“Alliance in Blood” and “Prepare For War” are completely different stories, as both songs launch immediately with its crushing riffs and ghastly harsh vocals. It also has a much higher level of energy as compared to the rest of the songs in the album, making me think that these songs would make really fiery live performances.

Above all the songs, “Queen of All Seas” stands out with all might. It is the second longest song in the album, but in contrary is also the most engaging and addictive track. Its atmosphere is equally intense and bloody. It is the most dynamic song off the album, having several flawless swings within its 8 minutes of playtime – mostly on the tempo and vocals. The chorus is so big and epic that it might also encompass some scopes of Power Metal.

The album relied heavily on clean vocals – and they did really great. They caught that Viking feel to it, while keeping it dark and melodic at the same time. One common thing about the songs is the catchiness of the choruses. Vocal production is on top form, just as well as the bass and the drums. The guitar riffs are in there not trying to be something new or original, but instead pay tremendous homage to the pioneers of the Viking, Melodic, and Black Metal pioneers such as BATHORY, PRIMORDIAL, ENSLAVED and even GRAND MAGUS. The band is so open in claiming that this album must have made Quorthon smile, and I will never disagree with that. This is the kind of sound that hooked many Metalheads to the Viking-Black Metal genre, and hearing this in the year 2019 is such a sweet treat.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Avgudadyrkans Väg
2. Queen of All Seas
3. Alliance in Blood
4. Chained
5. My Demon Inside
6. Prepare For War
7. Hvergelmir
8. With Fire In My Heart…
9. …And Blood On My Hand
Ragnar – Vocals, Guitars
Mats – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Tord – Drums, Keyboards
Mikael – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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