Įsmegin - Arv

8 songs
42:17 minutes
***** ****


Įsmegin from Norway are not the busiest band around, as Arv is, after their debut Hin Vordende Sod & Sų from 2003, only the second CD from this folk metal band. Although many band in this genre are interchangeable, I rather like the combination of hard metal sounds with the more traditional here quite a lot. But before listening to Arv, I wouldn’t have dreamt that this kind of music could contain progressive elements.

From the beginning, Įsmegin put much emphasis on the constant changing of moods, which makes for a lot of suspense on Arv. The opener Fandens Męlkebųtte starts quite melancholically and should appeal to fans of pagan as well as gothic music. The female voice goes right under the skin and reminds, thanks to its strength and power, of The Gathering’s Anneke van Girsbergen. The male vocals are of course quite rawer but are still perfectly integrated into the overall sound. On Hiertbrand, Įsmegin surprise with really weird structures that because of the violins shows parallels to Celtic Frost. As a matter of fact, the Norwegians like to display a wide panoply of instruments: mandolin, accordion, mellotron and mini-moog. Įsmegin do their best not to sound like a run of the mill pagan metal band. The album contains quite aggressive tracks, like Generalen Og Troldharen with its complex thrash rhythms, but also dark and atmospheric material. The CD ends with the very quiet, semi-acoustic ballad and a nine minute epic with some great monumental passages.

You can only blame Įsmegin for having kept their CD too short. Arv managed to keep my attention from the first to the last note, and an additional quarter hour would have been more than welcome. They still recorded a top notch record and it is only to be hoped that we wont have to wait another six years for their next release.

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