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Winterblade - Greatest Saga

Greatest Saga
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 31 July 2020, 4:58 AM

WINTERBLADE is Heavy/Viking Metal band from Norfolk, Virginia.  This is a literally one-man band, a man with a passion for Old Norse Mythology and Heavy Metal and decided to make good on both fronts. This is actually the second album by them in 2020, they released ‘’Long Nights’’ back in January. The Greatest Saga is the story of the first King of Norway, Olaf Tryggvason, it is based on the work of some medieval authors and a retelling of olden tales from a past far far away.

It’s a very pagan-influenced album, very reminiscent of the first few TYR albums. I would say it’s more complete lyrically than anything I have seen from TYR. The details in the lyrics are impressive for a such a new artist. The retelling of the story of the first King of Norway is quite detailed and the trials of tribulations of his saga are deeply enriched in this passionate one man band. You can imagine yourself in this story, being part of it, living it and breathing it so the lyrics play a huge part of how epic this album really is. It’s not something you see really often honestly and I was pleasantly surprised.

I am usually a sucker for concept albums ever since ‘’The Wall’’ pretty much and bands like BLIND GUARDIAN or AYREON that have a tendency to have that grandiose approach to albums. The album is a bit theatrical, narration, sound effects that seem to come from movies, it really creates an ambiance, an atmosphere for the listener out there. You should really listen to it with headphones on, it’s a pure treat. There is a real progression in the album and it tells a story, musically it really reminded me of SYG:AR:TYR, very chilling, very moody and cinematic score-esque music.

Don’t be expecting AMON AMARTH style Viking Metal,  I know a lot of people out there associate the genre to them but they is so much more to the genre itself. It’s very epic and speaks of olden tales but it’s not the most straightforward music out there. It’s very historically driven and less glorified characters and tales. It’s a more literature-based concept album and the lyrics reflect the old texts Alex Waters used to influence him. It’s a tale of hardship, woes, victory and defeat, it’s a real departure of the genre and I was most impressed. A one man band that did all of this, that’s worth a thousand standing ovations. I was not able to find any videos for this upcoming album but I am leaving a link to the title track from their January opus, ‘’Long Nights’’ for your enjoyment!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Greatest Saga
2. The Axe
3. Plunder
4. Kings & Slaves
5. Raven
6. One Lonely Visitor
7. Tyr’s Daughter
8. Only the Strong
9. An Offering
10. Long Serpent
11. Wonder
Alex Waters – Everything
Record Label: Independent


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