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For Winter Fire
Released: 2011, Fienser
I’m often somewhat bemused by the intense and lasting Scandanavian Black Metal legacy and it’s far-reaching influence around the globe. Especially when it comes to the multitude of really good American bands, in particular those from the south. Many metal fans tend to associate the American south with strong Rock Stoner and Sludge scenes but there is a fairly large contingent of Death and Black dudes from the south.
Seidr hail from Kentucky, again not a locale you might immediately associate with extreme Metal. However, this relatively new quartet has released their debut album FOR WINTER FIRE and at first glance it looks and feels like it could be a USBM type of deal, but not quite. The song titles, album cover and general image might lead you to think Black Metal but that’s not the case.
For starters, FOR WINTERS FIRE is long; really long. Seven cuts, six of them in the 11-12 minute plus range for a whopping 73 minutes. The longer songs are broken apart by the fourth song called ‘In The Ashes’. It’s an acoustic interlude that serves to break the album into two halves. It’s a nice change of place and the gentle song while nice seems a bit out of place as it wanders in a virtual camp-fire ballad territory.
The opening cut, ‘A Vision From Hlidskjalf’ starts vaguely reminiscent of a soundtrack music by Ennio Morricone for a Sergio Leone film and wanders from there. The songs are unconventional in arrangement, droning, doomy and very atmospheric. This is the kind of stuff you might find on the esteemed Southern Lord label. The tunes are quite ponderous and weighty with many simple tonalities, rather than dazzling riffs. It’s not boring per se, but perhaps a bit unadventurous. The track ‘Sweltering’ picks up the pace nicely and the drumming of Lundr is great despite a general disregard for conventional time-keeping.
FOR WINTERS FIRE is not really what I would call a ‘fun’ album. It’s oppressive and serves to weigh the listener down into the depths, in which it does that admirably. I’d suggest this has limited appeal for the broader pantheon of ‘Metal’ fans but as an example of well executed Doom-Death it’s pretty impressive.
1. A Vision From Hlidskjalf
2. On the Shoulder of the Gods
4. In the Ashes
5. The Night Sky and the Wild Hunt
6. A Gaze at the Stars
7. Stream Keeper
Jack Hannert -Vocals
A. Lundr -Vocals, Guitar, Cello, Piano, Drums
J Brafford-Additional Instruments, Live Drums
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