Released: 2009, Gardarika Musikk
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Alvheim is the name of a one man black metal band from Russia. It's also of note that although the music on this disc is made entirely by a Russian named Alvar; the songtitles and lyrics appear to be entirely in Norwegian. There is also a note in the booklet that reads "Inspired by the cold Norwegian old school black metal which unfortunately remains a little now, but fans of such music always were, are and shall be."
I have to say though, the music contained on the debut album I ET FJORT FORTID is EXTREMELY convincing in that this sounds exactly like the Norwegian black metal that Alvar worships. I'm pretty convinced actually that this Alvar fellow is quite scholarly; to record an album in an acquired second language is a feat in and of itself, but to play all of the instruments with such prowess and feel is also of great achievement. The only thing on here that sounds synthetic would be the drums that I am almost certain are a drum machine.
"Stormens Sang" is a brilliant track of atmospheric black metal, whereas "Til Valhallen" really kicks your ass with its cold and trebly guitar and blastbeats
but with a bass boost not found in most Norse black metal. There are some interesting sound effects strewn about that sound unidentifiable, inhuman and from-the-abyss. "Det Onde Riket" is another masterpiece; sounding circa 1996 and frenetic. The title track "I Et Fjort Fortid" is a folkish acoustic instrumental that serves as a nice prelude to the band's Darkthrone cover "Graven Takeheimens Saler"
I would recommend this CD to anyone who is a fan of old school black metal. I know one man bands of the black metal ilk often are frowned upon, but I can't find a single thing to fault Alvheim on, other than there not being more tracks on this disc. I'm really digging this and look forward to hearing more from Alvheim in the future.