Released: 2009, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
"The Viking brothers from the south… berserkers from the south”, a couple of examples of what this Brazilian metal act Hugin Munin has usually been called by many brothers and sisters around the European territory.
Hugin Munin has only been around since 2007, but they have already released one single, another EP and even one live album prior to this 7-track EP, titled DIE FOR ODIN. So yes, you could say they have been relatively active, at least release-wise.
As for their stuff then, Vikings are what they tell and sing about, but this Viking theme of theirs, does not necessarily get as much all that support music-wise as it should get in order to make it sound more powerful, and just more convincing. The music on the EP unfortunately tends to be a teeny-weeny bit mediocre, without too much of any true innovation, if any. Hugin Munin combines elements from death, doom and traditional metal – a pleasingly old school way, but the way how they execute their songs within this melting pot, has not been done with the most successful recipe, I am afraid.
In all honesty, the best parts of this EP are intros and outros that actually sound all well made, pompous and pretty nicely orchestrated even. And 3 out of these 7 tracks are actually those – and when f.ex. “Odin's Blackwinged Messengers” starts coming out from the speakers, your expectations are raised high up to the roof due to its pompousness and ´stronger-than-everything-all-together´ atmosphere that is tagged so deeply into it.
The production also leaves some things for improvement. It´s kinda thin, and drums´ sound is just horrible. However, I really like the crisp guitar tone and Surt´s growled death grunts on this EP that both add a welcome injection of all that's needed to make a convincing enough concept story about Vikings and stuff. In fact, Surt growls like a Viking chief of a tribe, going to war and conquering the lands.
Hugin Munin should have a new 5-song EP coming out soon, called HEROES RISE. Despite my fair dose of negative but still hopefully constructive criticism, I am however curious to know what they will accomplish on that one. In the meantime, let´s drink a hornful to Odin - the father of the Gods, the king of Asgard, ruler of the Aesir and the Lord of War, death and knowledge – or, just whatever you may feel like drinking to…