Released: 2001, Head Not Found
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
A Black Metal band from Norway, influenced by Viking mythology, their ancient ancestors and stuff like that. You may say: "How typical...", but I really cannot blame for them by sticking to that particular subject 'coz Norway truly is known for its history of the long-haired, bearded and horned Vikings - even if we should care less.
Anyway, as for Windir, it's actually a one-man project originally, fronted by a guy named Valfar. The guy did two albums all by himself; SOKNARDAL in '97 and ARNTOR in '99 that both were released on Head Not Found. I haven't ever heard those albums, but this brand-new Windir's Viking Metal manifestation, simply titled 1184 sounds - as a matter of fact speaking, pretty damn good. Probably we should thank Valfar for sharing this "project" with some other guys, too, as he recruited and welcomed new members in for this particular album. Windir has some nicely arranged, symphonic parts in their very much passionate and well-textured black´ish Viking Metal onslaught that will surely please even most of the most cultivated fans of this genre. It's also kinda easy to hear that these new guys - Strom on lead guitar, Sture on rhythm guitar, Hvall on bass, Righ on synth and Steingrim on drums, have probably became more familiar with their instruments than their ancient ancestors ever did with their "bloody (heh... Literally, yes!)" war instruments - the name of Valhalla on their sun-burnt lips on the great battlefields of terror and death in 1184.
For some reason or another, while I was listening to 1184, Windir funnily did remind me of a Finnish folky black´ish speed freaks Ensiferum here and there and even the name of Dark Funeral slipped in my mind more than once or twice mainly due to Valfor's vocals that are similar to Emperor Magus Caligula's evil vocal attacks in most part of the songs.
But I dare to say co-incidences like that aren't rare nowadays as we have never witnessed such massive armies of metal-this-metal-that acts in the worldwide metal community that may even have several different things in common to each other. I don't have any other needs to compare them to any other bands around 'coz every band is kind of a rip-off of some certain band which I feel an enormous urgency to name it, let´s say simply, as a band "B"; and this band "B" is obviously a rip-off of a band "C" - and so on and so on and so on... You know how this formula is about to progress, don't you!?
Back to Windir again tho. To make it short now, I think you won't regret it if you check 1184 out, and if you already know what to expect from it if I say that Windir's Viking Metal has been done with a good enough taste and the guys have a great knowledge towards a type of bombastic Black/Viking Metal that the album's all 8 tracks represent for.