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Fortíð – World Serpent

World Serpent
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 December 2020, 10:11 AM

FORTID Formed in Iceland in 2002 as the solo project of Einar Thorberg, AKA Eldur. Three albums later, known as the “Völuspá” trilogy, FORTID had relocated in Norway as a full lineup band. After two more albums and some live shows in Europe, FORTID is back again in Iceland, with their latest album titled “World Serpent,” which contains ten tracks.

“Al 2020” leads off the album. It’s a short, two-minute mood-setting instrumental. The mood is dark, and the sound is scary, bringing up your worst nightmare with a variety of instruments. “The True Awakening” is an eight-minute opus. Beginning with some clean guitar work—both rhythmically along with some leads, it enters slowly. The riff is heavy and accented. The vocals are also clean at first…this isn’t your father’s Black Metal. The careful crafting of the sound here is obvious. A very charming ambient passage appears around the half-way mark, with sublime melodies, then the song returns with a renewed vengeance. Drums roll hard and fast, and the vocals have a harsh edge to them.

“Controlled Patterned Mental Process” comes at you with fire and energy. The harmonized vocals are a nice touch as well. The guitars dance in and around the song, darting into every corner. Following the chaos, it drops to just some spacy guitar notes and bass, along with some leads. “Insignificant is the Wormking’s Throne” begins with some fast-picked guitars and a slightly Industrial feeling, from the sterile vocal style. The guitars keep ever moving, in a frantic but structured pace. “Suppressed Opposition” opens with a slower pace, and there is a lot going on in the background. The vocals are again fairly sterile, giving this Black Metal album a bit of a different edge. Their in-between game is strong as well, really building up some harrowing sounds.

“Son of a Barren Land” being with sad, depressing clean guitars, and some clean, lamenting vocals. Then come the harsh vocals and wall of guitars and drums. It returns to the clean laments, thick with bass guitar notes and some ambiance. It waxes and wanes several times from there. “Pandemic” is a shorter song with a more linear riff. Harsh vocals lead the charge here. The guitars are always shifting here and there, a key to the sound on the album for sure. “Beyond the Grips of Odium” opens with a mighty riff that climbs up and down the fretboard, leading to a steady charge, with doleful clean vocals. The vocals mostly come in short bursts followed by guitar passages. It then gathers steam for a strong and powerful ending.

“Perfect Annihilation” begins with a slow and heavy groove, and the vocals are harsh. This song is a little more straightforward in its attack. “Last Line of Defense” closes the album. It’s two-and-a-half minutes of some eerie guitar work. This was a very unique album…as many bands from Iceland are, I have discovered. I believe you could loosely call this Black Metal, but it’s so expansive in scope that it stands out from the thousands of Black Metal bands out there. Clean vocals and ambient passages combine with thick forests of harsh vocals and a mighty sound that is hard to deny. This album is carefully crafted by seasoned songwriters and talented musicians, and FORTID is here to prove that they are back, indeed.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Al 2020
2. The True Awakening
3. Controlled Patterned Mental Process
4. Insignificant is the Wormking’s Throne
5. Suppressed Opposition
6. Son of a Barren Land
7. Pandemic
8. Beyond the Grips of Odium
9. Perfect Annihilation
10. Last Line of Defense
Einar "Eldur" Thorberg – Bass, Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Kristján Gudmundsson – Drums
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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