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Svartsot – ‘Kumbl’

Mighty Music
Finntroll, Rådarna, Trollfest, Vanir, Korpiklaani, Kromlek, Equilibrium, Faanefjell
Release Date
Mighty Music

The latest from Danish Folk Metallers Svartsot puts a new twist on the old. And by old, I mean Medieval old. Staying true to their established sound, the lads put their spin on a handful of traditional faves from across Northern Europe. Presented almost exclusively in Danish (“Carem Vernale” is sung in Latin) ‘Kumbl’ is rich in imagery and all the heavy Folk Metal one would expect. 

As I can’t understand a word of it (and let’s face it, that’s nothing new), I must rely on the emotional impact. A truer barometer, in my opinion. Musically, it conjures visions ranging from perilous confrontations to the grandest of celebrations. Entwined in a wall of sound that is as menacing as it is festive, each song is its own story. If only I knew what the hell they were saying.

Middle ground can be found on “Den Store Stygge Stand” and “Villemand,” excellent cross-sections of the album. A definitive collage of traditional instrumentation and the harshest elements of modernity, these tracks ring home. At times, Cris Frederiksen’s brusk gutturals could pass for something coming out of the Black or Death Metal scene. But, of course, who is to say what songs this old should sound like?

 My only detraction is the lack of variation. This is especially true when compared to the band’s previous work. To be fair, the source material may not have offered the usual creative avenues. Still, it provides a good bang for the buck and the head alike and, dare I say…a bit of education.

An open mind may be required, but give this one a go.

"‘Kumbl’ is rich in imagery and all the heavy Folk Metal one would expect"

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