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Valtyr – Veriset Saagat

Veriset Saagat
by Gary Hernandez at 15 May 2022, 6:34 PM

Eleven years ago, Italian multi-instrumentalist Saverio Giove, also known as Nartum and also responsible for EMYN MUIL and YMIR, issued a full-length album, “Veriset Saagat” (trans: Bloody sagas), under the moniker of his second side project, “VALTYR.” Stylistically, it’s Folk Black Metal; thematically, it’s “Norse mythology and sagas.” On April 22, 2022, Namut issued a remastered “Veriset Saagat” via Northern Silence. I’m not sure if it speaks more to the timelessness of the style or the staying power of the album itself, but “Verisat Saagat” is as strong and compelling today as it was in 2011.

Nartum is able to fuse multiple approaches on “Verisetm Saagat.” In addition to the Blackened riffs and the greyscale mixing, there are Folk melodies and Symphonic flourishes. Add to that a backdrop of Atmospheric field recordings layered throughout and the album yields itself like an auditory movie—that is, you can almost see the epic scenes playing out like a cinematic event in your mind’s eye. And a good movie it is.

The album eases in with a short intro and then segues into “Runesang” which has the same harmonic feel as the intro, though ramped to the next level. The motif of triumphant heralding carries through. Warning: The music is likely to inspire you to fire up your Hellsblade or Dark Souls game, so make sure you have easy access to your gaming console.

Of the seven proper tracks (excluding the intro), there are a lot of standouts. My list starts with “Balder’s Pyre.” The backing choral harmonies juxtaposed with the banshee screeching really worked for me. I also enjoyed the insistent tempo that eventually gives way to a wash of acoustic percussions. Next on my list is “Far from Gotland” which also has heavy epic overtones with acoustic interludes. And, as one might expect, “Veriset Saagat,” demands a lot of attention on this album. It’s probably the heaviest and most visceral track of the batch, though “Troll,” the KAMPFAR cover, is also a strong contender. True to the original, it yields to several interesting breaks—including the percussive outro—which add some fascinating layers and makes it one of the most intriguing tracks on the album.

I have to admit I totally missed the 2011 version, so I’m pleased this album has been re-mastered and re-issued. “Veriset Saagat” definitely bears repeating. If I’m still around, I probably wouldn’t mind seeing a 2033 version. Oh, and since this is the age a diversity and all that, I also want to point out how cool it is to hear an Italian artist taking on Norse themes. Again, timeless music; timeless themes.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Runesang
3. Balder’s Pyre
4. Fallen in Blood
5. Far from Gotland
6. Veriset Saagat
7. Wodenkult
8. Troll (Kampfar cover)
Nartum - all music and lyrics, all instruments and vocals, recording and mix
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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