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Glittertind - Djevelsvart Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 28 November 2013, 3:22 PM

Norwegian? Check. Folk metal? Check. About mountains and Norse themes? Check. Black Metal? …surprisingly not. Norwegian sextet GLITTERTIND have recently released their 3rd full-length, "Djevelsvart", which incorporates an eccentric mix of folk and Viking Metal, and Punk Rock, to create a bearded-drunken-bar fight of an album. Naturally, all of the lyrics are in Norwegian, which adds a form of authenticity, and makes the music sound all the more organic. Not only are the lyrics everything-Scandinavian-inspired, but the melody and rhythm sequences also helped to paint a picture of mighty mountain ranges with their eclectic sounds.

"Djevelsvart", one of the album's singles, propels the album with a heavily folk-inspired intro, highly reminiscent of FINNTROLL, and I was immediately surprised with Torbjørn Sandvik's voice. Instead of handling the growl vocal duties, which, although are present on the album, the vocals performed by him are actual, clean singing, which are the dominant vocals on the songs. I was also presently surprised by his voice, an effective balance between aggressive and melodic, so as to sound not too Thrashy, but also doesn't overuse Power Metal wails. There is most definitely also a hint of Punk style singing in there, too. What makes his voice unique is the fact that the lyrics are all in Norwegian; a much more colorful language than English, the various differences in nuances add a completely different feel to the vocals, and makes them especially catchy, whether one can understand them or not. The other single, "Kvilelaus", is an entirely acoustic track, with the addition of a flute and a fiddle (or violin?). Catchy and adventurous from start to finish, releasing an acoustic single from what is essentially some form of metal album, may seem like somewhat of a gamble to some. However, it turns out to be an extremely enjoyable song, filled with melodies and lyrics that one could imagine hearing in the middle of a festive long hall, although it is not short of its tender moments.

"Taaketanker" was by far one of the more Metal / Punk oriented tracks on the record, and features a greater presence of growled vocals. Much more straightforward, but also a more upbeat and happy-go-lucky track compared to the majority of songs, Torbjørn's vocals are once again highly enjoyable, and shows what is a rather impressive vocal range; suitable for melodic and peaceful acoustic tracks, but also for raucous Punk romps. With "Utgang" acting as more of an extended piano outro for the album, the 'final song' "Stjerneslor" begins with a quieted, step-down approach, with a basic tom-beat and arpeggio, and the vocals taking a much more tender approach, in part sounding even like an A PERFECT CIRCLE track. Maynard in Norwegian Folk Metal? I'd get a kick out of that. The song soon kicks off on a drastic and bombastic sounding, guitar-dominated passage at about half way to a gradual fade out, seemingly mimicking an intrepid journey down the face of a forested mountain and out into a fjord.

This record was the perfect example of true Folk Metal. I can even go as far as saying that I enjoyed it more because there was not an over-emphasis of the metal side of things, and the focus was bringing out Scandinavian-inspired lyrics and music.

4 Star Rating

1. Intro / Djevelsvart (Track 1 and 2)
2. Sundriven
3. Sprekk for sol
4. Kvilelaus
5. Trollbunden
6. Nymaane
7. Taaketanker
8. Sterneslor
9. Utgang
Torbjørn Sandvik – Vocals, Guitars
Geirmund Simonsen – Guitar, vocals, synth, programming
Stefan Theofilakis – Flutes, Vocals
Geir Holm – Drums
Bjørn Nordstoga – Bass
Olav Aasbø – Guitar
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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