Recension Askrinn

1. Bjarmalandsfør Hjørleifs konungs (King Hjorleifís Bjarmaland expedition)
2. Hjørleifr mægðist við Hreiðar konung (Hjorleif married Hreidarís daughter)
3. Frá spám Marmennils (Prophecies of the Merman)
4. Frá konungum, Hjørleifi ok Hreiðari (Of kings Hjorleif and Hreidar)
5. Hymn To The Forgotten Pagan Gods (Bornholm cover)

Valenten - All instruments, Vocals



logo by Christophe Szpajdel

Released 2014-11-14
Reviewed 2014-11-15



I am not really that fond of one man projects but there are times that they work and there are times when it absolutely stinks and I do think one man band more have a tendency to fail than ordinary bands has. Then again, everything and each album deserves a chance before being dismissed and the guy behind the band did send an amusing email. It reads (in part): ”As I have been reading your website for quite some time now, I thought I would get in touch with you to submit my album for review. I have discovered several nice bands through your articles, so I am sure that Hjørleifsljóð will match your tastes (and those of your visitors).” So, is he one of those guys who thinks he will receive a better review by being nice to us? if that is the case he cannot be telling the truth about reading our website as we tend to poke at everything the labels and bands write in their press info, at least that which we find stupid or worth pointing out for other reasons.

This is not a genre that is best received by us, we tend to dismiss black metal very often. This is so-called pagan black metal with quite primitive music, kind of mechanic drums, cheapish production, very raw vocals and often a fairly high tempo. It has a dreamy and storytelling feel to it, maybe the basing of the concept upon an Icelandic 14th century saga and vocals in the Norse old tongue gives this feel. Maybe it just has a dramatic atmosphere, who knows? It is well performed and it feels well thought out albeit the sound is a bit cheap. The vocals aren’t my favourite thing but their shrieking growls works well for this album. A short album at 34 minutes and only five tracks of which the ending is a cover on a song from the Hungarian band Bornholm, that is a nice ending in a very melodic style that breaks off nicely from the rest of the album.

I think that this is a good album, it has the atmosphere and the feel of a story. I think Askrinn tells the story nicely and I think this album comes out fairly fresh despite using methodology and styles very much used in the black metal genre, and it is things that more often than not is truly awful. Not this time though, it works very well here and this is an album I think can appeal to a fairly wide audience. It is somewhat hypnotic even, an exciting album that I can recommend to most, though with a slight reservation for the growly vocals that will not fall in favour with everyone.

My favourite song has to be the ending cover song, maybe because it breaks nicely from the rest of the songs but also maybe because of the fine melodic touches it offers. It sort of rounds of the album perfectly with a calmer ending. But all the songs are good on this album, it is exciting and a story well worth taking in and enjoy. I may not be the most proficient or even interested in the black metal genre but this album has to be one of the better I have received in that genre, it is enjoyable that’s for sure. French black metal with Norse vocals, who would have thought it could be good?




Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Enslaved/Arckanum/Bornholm
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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