King Of Asgard - ...to North
Viking Metal. Two words that, when combined, seem to equal or surpass all manliness. This particular style utilizes elements from various metal subgenres, including black, thrash, death and traditional. The true dividing line resides in the folk leanings and lyrical underpinning, a combination in which Sweden's King of Asgard have pinpointed with notable accuracy on this, their sophomore full-length effort, ...To North.
While the more folk-related elements are subdued behind a near-constant wall of thrash metal, it's obvious from song to song that there's more to the band than aggression and speed. ...To North has a terrific flow, with it's first quarter acting as a slowly building introduction to the core elements of King of Asgard; a brutally effective guitar attack that keeps a keen eye on strong melody and technique, and vocals that fit the grand scope of the music to a key. It isn't until "Gap of Ginnungs" that the band stretches their legs fully, crafting one hell of a metal masterpiece in the process. Much of the album struggles to live up to this high-water mark, until "Plague-Ridden Rebirth" comes slamming into you like a battleaxe to the skull. "Harvest (The End)" has a very ecclectic structure to it, a folk-based rhythm to it's riffage that is easy to hum along to. The outro title track is a moving instrumental, showcasing the bands' tight chemistry and technical prowess in a memorable finish.
What keeps me from truly loving ...To North isn't the quality of the songs, but the overall style, one that I am very picky about. The songs I noted are the only ones in which I truly felt a connection with King of Asgard, which is actually praise enough coming from me, who has so often encountered similar bands with not so much as a single track to get me interested. I cannot truly tell if this record matches up to the majority of it's peers, but that's beside the point; ...To North is a worthwhile listen for any metalhead who fancies the pillaging and plundering style of Viking Metal.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.