In the expanding genre of metal music a few bands have adopted the Viking heritage through literature. Bands like Amon Amarth showed a lot of interest in choosing the Vikings way in form of music and lifestyle. In relation to this subject I assume that most of peers have watched the Vikings series which narrates the story of the legendary Northman Ragnar Lothbrok. This historic TV show depicted the life of the Viking warriors and how they built their empire across the Scandinavian countries. But if there was anything to perfect the series of the North men from the motion pictures, customs, effects and imagery. It would be an appropriate soundtrack that could capture the mood of this historic saga.
The answer comes directly from Iceland, the land of fire and ice, of glaciers and volcanoes. Arstidir Lifsins (Seasons of Life) has an exceptional way of narrating the Vikings chronology. Their musical adaption comes in form of literature by exploiting the pagan values. Originating from Iceland and Germany, this fabulous band have been approaching the ancient Norse literature by releasing four albums. Where every output is deeply linked with rich pagan roots. The extraordinary way of amalgamating the traditional folk music and black metal is weaved in epic majesty.
The international ensemble consists of an Icelandic duo multi-instrumentalists and an additional German vocalist. The fluent and the rich musical textures like cello, strings, organ and drums are handled by Árni. Other expressive instruments like guitar, bass, piano and choral vocal are superbly executed by Stefan. The band also features Marsel from the German black metal outfit Helrunar. Who brilliantly fulfills his unique choirs, narration and high pitched growls.
Musically “Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr” is soaked in medieval pagan soundscapess, it is yet another epic output by this highly talented band. Where they recite the epic tale of the Norse king Óláfr Helgi Haraldsson. The fourth outing is released by Vàn Records. The album is sung in Old Icelandic language, burrowing the lyrical contents from the Skaldic poems. Arstidir Lifsins is a pagan black metal band that displays the medieval folk influences within their music. The extensive use of clean guitar tunes and chorale are beautifully crafted. The album consists of nine tracks lasting for seventy minutes of pure epic perfection.
When it comes pagan black metal Arstidir Lifsins have a unique way to avail their skills. It feels like every guitar riff was carefully modified and inserted into the song texture. The changing tempos are mainly dominated by the drums that burst into seismic motions of blast beats. The significant amounts of the heavy guitar riffs are nicely woven. Vapn ok vidr is a majestic pagan black metal album, its attractive and powerful guitar lines are embedded in the grim rasps of the vocals.
The epic value of the songs are elevated by the strings and chorales which bring forth the sense of veneration. Beside the other instruments like cello, viola that adds the element of harmony. The mastery of the musical attraction is initiated by the opening track Fornjóts synir ljótir at Haddingja lands lynláðum. Which is described as furious black metal opus. The epic touch of the Nordic black metal element also appears on the third track Morðbál á flugi ok klofin mundriða hjól.
What stands out the most are the blackish rasps of vocalist Marsel. Arstidir Lifsins have an intellectual way in songwriting. The guitar riffs are skillfully approached by rhythmic tremolos and blast beats that hit the speed of light. With thunderous riffs and melodies that interlace beautifully within the scope of each song. The music provides an epic journey through the Norse medieval times. Other standing tracks on the album is the seventh track Vandar jǫtunn reisti fiska upp af vǫtnum. The track begins with acoustic guitars then later climbs to staggering heights of majestic black metal opus.
Yet the trio always create heavenly effects by adding the elements of choirs into the music. These elements create an emotive aural bliss. The grand finale Haldi oss frá eldi, eilífr skapa deilir is yet another epic black metal track. The narration and the furious black metal rasps captures the complete attention of the listener. The addition of the classical instruments are beautifully contrasting. This is another track that displays the rich tonality of the instruments. The manifestation of the guitar riffs and the slow passages transcends with the clean vocals and strings. Saga a tveim tungum I: Vapn ok vidr is a classy epic album where the band honor their Kings.
Release Date: April 26th, 2019
Label: Van Records
- Fornjóts synir ljótir at Haddingja lands lynláðum
- Sundvǫrpuðir ok áraþytr
- Morðbál á flugi ok klofin mundriða hjól
- Líf á milli hveinandi bloðkerta
- Stǫng óð gylld fyr gǫngum ræfi
- Siðar heilags brá sólar ljósi
- Vandar jǫtunn reisti fiska upp af vǫtnum
- Fregit hefk satt
- Haldi oss frá eldi, eilífr skapa deilir