Released: 2010, Napalm Records
Reviewer: Theis Rytoft
Danish Vikings have always been the best, eh? Svartsot certainly has proven that Danish metallers are able to produce some outstanding folk metal with their previous album RAVNENES SAGA (THE SAGA OF THE RAVENS). Even with an almost completely new lineup, still-present lyrical writer and inspiration Cris Frederiksen, MULMETS VISER (SONGS OF THE DARKNESS) is set to capture you!
And what could be a better way to start a folk album than with a mandolin which the first tale of this release does! Its title is “Æthelred” and has a fine and catchy melody and is a quite stereotypical folk song mixed with the more death metal inspired vocals which Svartsot makes use of. The thing about this track is the catchiness: I can imagine it being a crowd pleaser because of its straight-forward approach and the chorus captures the essence of this song with its tuneful sound. “Havfruens Kvad” is a song about the treacherous mermaid in the deep seas and this one easily lures you in with melodious whistles and good guitar riffs in a very like able mix. Again the chorus is awesome! An aspect which symbolizes Svartsot’s musical expression are their choruses; they capture me completely. They are so singable (If you are Danish, too bad for those who are not, haha!) and appealing in many of the songs.
“På Odden af hans Hedenske Sværd” has a tremendously good contrast between rapid pace and single words slamming me down in composition with the drums. The song features a marvelous musical mix throughout the whole song which comprehensively is absolute amusing! “Den Svarte Sot” which obviously refers to the name of the band reflects some of the array of styles which the vocalist can perform. It also has a distinction between a sinister part consisting of guitars and bass, and the whistles which make for a more sorrowful atmosphere. At the end the choir really makes a difference, giving me the chills in conjunction with the lyrics. Fabulous!
Some more praise for the vocalist who makes for an enjoyable experience with his death metal approach as he manages to form his expression in diverse ways, and with many different outputs he succeeds in not being too boring which I actually feared at the beginning of MULMETS VISER. “I Salens varme Glød” ties the album together symbolizing how all of the songs (tales and stories) have been told until dawn and now the beer mugs stand empty (obviously).
The songs are altogether composed in an interesting way with dissimilar breaks that maintain my interest. The melodies throughout the album are extremely pleasant and it cannot be stated too many times how wonderful they are.
In the long run the folk- and death metal can be a bit tedious but all of the songs have interesting stories as well as gripping progressive lyrics.
Svartsot knows their handcraft very well and has composed a memorable release which can easily compete with other upper-scale folk bands. Key elements such as catchiness, atmosphere and heterogeneousness define MULMETS VISER.