Svartsot – Maledictus Eris

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Reviewed: September 2011
Released: 2011, Napalm Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Theis Rytoft

MALEDICTUS ERIS is the 3rd album release from the Danish metallers Svartsot. Following a really good and well-received debut everyone in the band left except Cris, who pursued to gather a new “slaughtering team”, and almost killed my ears with the 2nd release MULMETS VISER. That is, in a good way. Now, Svartsot is back with MALEDICTUS ERIS and while the first 2 releases clearly were reminiscent of each other; both being in the folk metal sub-genre, this album reflects a profound change in the bands music.

The first track, “Staden” is a short intro to the album and reflects the good fortune and happy mood in a Medieval city in the state of Denmark prior to the plague. “Gud giv det varer ved” continues the atmosphere lyrically but has a more dark approach although applying a “happy” chorus shouting BEER, BEER; a sharp contrast to the growling of the vocalist. It is a solid track and very different from the tracks on Mulmets Viser with its heavy use of flutes, despite them also being on this track. From here the story progresses with “Dødedansen” and tells about Death who will “get” everyone no matter where they hide and who they are.

Finally, the plague arrives in the track “Farsoten kom” which is a very bombastic track and one of the best on MALEDICTUS ERIS. Everything, from riffs to drums, works in perfect conjunction and a “hey ho, yay o hey ho” in the chorus adds the little extra spice.

The same elements but also contradictions from “Farsoten Kom” turn up in “Holdt Net af en Tjørn” which features bagpipes blended with the brutal and dark vocal.
“Om Jeg Lever Kveg” is a very appealing track with its heavy riffs mixed with the flute playing. It has a very good slow to mid-paced tempo and, one of the characteristics of Svartsot, a catchy chorus.

I was really surprised to find such a track as “Spigrene” on this release. It introduces clean vocals and is really atmospheric. It is a great contrast to all of the other tracks with its sorrowful sound and lyrics. Gives me the chills even after listening many, many times to it. I would definitely like to see more songs of this type from Svartsot in the future.

One way MALEDICTUS ERIS differs from both RAVNENES SAGA and MULMETS VISER is in its use of flutes which has been decreased. However, the more profound change is the step away from a more cheerful atmosphere to a depressing and melancholic setting. One of the strengths of the release is also the mentioned contradictions: Even though most of the album focuses on creating a shadowy and gloomy setting, there is a contrast with some instruments such as the flutes. They are, as mentioned, not joyful as seen on MULMETS VISER but it works very well. Comparing MALEDICTUS ERIS to the past two also reveals more complexity in Svartsot\’s music with deeper, and more, layers. The lyrics are, by the way, really good as they usually are when composed by Svartsot.

All in all MALEDICTUS ERIS is a brave release from Svartsot as their musical output is quite different from their two earlier releases; especially MULMETS VISER. It is a very good release however a bit repetitive. Almost as good as Mulmets Viser and highly recommendable to all metal fans!


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Track Listing:
1. Staden…
2. Gud giv det varer ved!
3. Dødedansen
4. Farsoten kom
5. Holdt ned af en Tjørn
6. Den forgængelige Tro
7. Om jeg lever kveg
8. Kunsten at dø
9. Den nidske Gud
10. Spigrene
11. Og Landet ligger så øde hen

Thor Bager -Vocals
Cris Frederiksen -Guitars
Hans-Jørgen Martinus Hansen -Flutes, Whistles, Mandolin, Accordion
James Atkin -Bass
Danni Jelsgaard -Drums