Released: 2009, Regain Records
Reviewer: Theis Rytoft
Sometimes I bump into a real folk metal band and Swedish Månegarm is an example of such. They pour some black metal elements into the mix which works astonishingly well but to me the folk part is the most crucial and dominant! The whole genre of folk metal has been widened by all sorts of creative descriptions and the quality of the bands and their music differs a lot. That being said Månegarm satisfies me superbly.
An aggressive set of vocals greets me as it takes me along 9 tracks of variety through both growl and clean. Mixed with cello, violin and flutes the scene is set for a stereotypical folk band. Fortunately Månegarm, with their experience and routine, knows how to make interesting compositions. They are genuinely adept at shifting from slow-mid-fast tempos which serve the album really well. What lacks on the album are some memorable choruses and to a certain point some diversity. Even though there are, as mentioned, good compositions, they are simply not arousing me to that specific point, which is essential on this, to make me give a higher grade.
As a whole NATTVÄSEN brings many different aspects into play such as traditional folk-singing, growls, clean vocals, distant talking, animal sounds and musical compositions combined with acoustic sections. All of these and even more contribute greatly to a deep fog of dark atmospheric elements. One of the best examples of this is “I Den Svartaste Jord” which completely is a hill full of mysteries and dark secrets to behold. Månegarm has been capable of integrating all of these elements into success which is present during most of the album.
Lastly, I want to mention the theme of the songs as well as the lyrics. It is all pretty decent and interesting as Månegarm centers on tales including mythological creatures, fear and darkness. I am sitting here with a very nice folk album which has some flaws but despite that Månegarm deserves some praise for giving me one of the best folk releases of 2009!