Over a year in the making, Swedish Norse metalers King Of Asgard build on their growing reputation from the previous studio albums with the much anticipated third album ‘Karg’, out now on Metal Blade Records.
With bands like Amon Amarth blazing a trail for so called ‘Viking Metal’ making high profile festival appearances you’d almost be forgiven for assuming that this was just another clone; though it certainly seems to be a genre that has never enjoyed more popularity. If that was your assumption however, you couldn’t be more wrong; for this is an altogether darker, better thought out album, which has at its roots the folk music of the countryside in which the band members originate. Albeit played with heavily distorted guitars and growling vocals instead of traditional instruments & singing, but the main core of rhythms, melodies and lyrical content are there as in days gone by & speaks of local Norse legends, giving them a new lease of life.
These guys are no slouches on their respective instruments with tracks like ‘The Runes of Hel’, ‘Remnant Of The Past’ and ‘The Heritage Throne’ demonstrating bucket-loads of technical ability as well as various tempo changes & more melodic moments that will have respective audiences singing along when they take it out on the road.
Standout track ‘Omma’ begins with some haunting piano and chanting like a dark pagan ritual, before the guitar and drums come crashing in at break-neck speed. As well as being one of the heaviest songs on the album, this is perhaps the most melodic of all the tracks on offer here.
If Norsemen were somehow transported through the ages into a modern recording studio then ‘Karg’ (meaning ‘Barren’ in English), is the album they would produce. It is a real powerhouse of an album; full of epic storytelling and crushing guitars. The traditional rhythms & melodies add a real heir of authenticity to proceedings and is something that will translate well into their lives shows.
1. The Rules Of Hel
2. The Trickster
3. Highland Rebellion
4. Remnant Of The Past
6. The Heritage Throne
9. Total Destruction (Bonus Track)
Karl Beckman [guitar/vocals] Karsten Larsson [drums] Lars G Tängmark [guitar] Jonas Albrektsson [bass]