Windir - 1184 review



Reviewer:
9.0

472 users:
8.88
Band: Windir
Album: 1184
Release date: November 2001


01. Todeswalzer
02. 1184
03. Dance Of Mortal Lust
04. The Spiritlord
05. Heidra
06. Destroy
07. Black New Age
08. Journey To The End


The mass influx of new and upcoming black metal bands during (and well beyond) the '90s introduced -- by way of competition, inspiration, and admiration -- a slew of content for audiences to sift through. Some bands quickly separated from the rest like oil atop water, rising to the top due to their instrumental mastery, engaging songwriting process, unique sound, and/or unorthodox stylistic choices.

Windir was one of these oily bands, due to all the aforementioned reasons above, and this album is widely considered to be their magnum opus for good reason. Folk-inspired and -infused black metal bands weren't a completely new concept at the time, but the varying degrees in which they managed to combine these elements successfully led much to be desired on many occasions. While this isn't the place to highlight the duds of the time, it is the exact place to highlight why 1184 is still regarded as one of the best albums of its kind nearly 20 years after its release.

Anyone familiar with this solo project knows that 1184 featured an actual supporting cast of full-time musicians, a choice that arguably led the project to its greatest heights. Founder, Valfar, could now focus his efforts exclusively on fine-tuning his perfectly pitched shrieks and structuring songs with increased clarity without the worry of spreading himself too thin across the rest of the instrumental spectrum. Though he proved more than capable handling these duties on previous releases and still took control where he felt needed on this release, bringing in specialists seemed to free his mind of too many responsibilities, and the collaborative efforts brought forth a cohesion not before seen as a solo project.

Despite the fun and catchy hooks, accompanying accordion work, and clean folk chants, 1184 is so well-crafted and dialed in that none of those aspects take away from the overall seriousness of what Valfar had in mind going in to writing this. It's still a black metal album in all its purity, with endless blastbeats and razor-wire shredding, but its deliverance is brought on the back of epic and uplifting melodies, supported by an underlying groove not really carved out by folk/viking black metal competitors at the time. This, of course, was all wrapped up in an encompassing, professional sounding production style that had started to catch on with the bigger names in the scene (again, due to Valfar having more time on his hands at the time of recording), but it still retained enough of the typically gritty, muffled, and lower quality sound that elitist fans had grown accustomed to and came to expect.

This is a hallmark metal album deserving of its place as one of the most iconic in the scene, and should come highly recommended as early listening material for anyone looking to explore the various sub-genres of extreme metal. The downfall to such a recommendation, however, is the realization that Windir only went on to release one more album after this, as Valfar met an untimely demise at the hands of the harsh winter landscapes that served as inspiration for much of his music.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 05.09.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 49 users
06.09.2019 - 11:42
Bad English
Masterchief
Maybe one of greatest bm bands out there. Amazing sound, idea, lyrics, artwork, True North spirit. Love this band
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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07.09.2019 - 06:46
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Bad English on 06.09.2019 at 11:42
Maybe one of greatest bm bands out there. Amazing sound, idea, lyrics, artwork, True North spirit. Love this band

I don't personally consider the band among my favorites but this album is definitely up there in terms of one of the best mid-era black metal releases. I think you're absolutely right about the spirit of the music for sure.
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I have no memory of this place.
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07.09.2019 - 16:52
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.09.2019 at 06:46

Written by Bad English on 06.09.2019 at 11:42
Maybe one of greatest bm bands out there. Amazing sound, idea, lyrics, artwork, True North spirit. Love this band

I don't personally consider the band among my favorites but this album is definitely up there in terms of one of the best mid-era black metal releases. I think you're absolutely right about the spirit of the music for sure.

Spirit makes it better as avarage bm.... Valfar did great job there
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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13.09.2019 - 06:37
Death
Great review Troy! I was curious for the reason behind your 7/10 rating for originality. There were no other bands making Sognametal at the time, so is this score based on the album's originality compared to Windir's previous 2 albums?
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15.09.2019 - 03:26
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
And this is a reminder of another album lost to the great external hard drive crash of 2016.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

2019 Keepers Spotify Playlist
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15.09.2019 - 06:23
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Death on 13.09.2019 at 06:37
Great review Troy! I was curious for the reason behind your 7/10 rating for originality. There were no other bands making Sognametal at the time, so is this score based on the album's originality compared to Windir's previous 2 albums?

Thanks

I always thought that Sognametal moniker was a bit silly despite the creator of the tag...

I based my originality score on their previous releases as well as other black metal bands incorporating folk music into their sound at the time. And while it wasn't done in the exact way Windir did this time around, the concept wasn't completely new or groundbreaking. Anything less than a 7 would be ignorant, but I felt an 8 was a bit too high -- although it could easily be justified, as your questions pose reason to reconsider the initial score.
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I have no memory of this place.
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15.09.2019 - 07:21
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by BitterCOld on 15.09.2019 at 03:26
And this is a reminder of another album lost to the great external hard drive crash of 2016.

I've never experienced an external hard drive crash but I did have to sell off over 90% of my physical collection due to some cross-country moves. Like watching a stock investment plummet and not being able to do anything to stop it.
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I have no memory of this place.
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15.09.2019 - 20:07
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.09.2019 at 07:21

I've never experienced an external hard drive crash but I did have to sell off over 90% of my physical collection due to some cross-country moves. Like watching a stock investment plummet and not being able to do anything to stop it.


I did the same before moving to South America. Literally spent 3 months ripping all my cd's and dvd's ... both on my main PC, Dark Helmet as well as my lappy. Had a 1.8TB external hard drive with all my music, vids. ANd some that might have been put their by amigos after I accidentally left said hard drive in their place for a couple nights.

Kept the rarest/most fave 100 for myself in a box, gave away a bunch to friends who wanted Ramones, Dropkick Murphys and some others... sold the rest. Dude at the counter was a huge metalhead and was flipping out about some of the shit I was selling back. (Told him he should have seen what I kept.) Took them three hours to tab it all up (was four milk crates full of cds) ... ended up with $1,400 and a receipt even with microscopic print was over 2m tall.

Like to think some teenage kids strapped for cash and getting into metal was ecstatic with so many used cds at $4.99.

And, naturally, when your external hard drive is more than 3x the size of your hard drive, you have to be selective of what music I migrated over. It went kaput and adios. Every month or so I'll want to play something I had and it's gone, baby, gone, the tunes are gone.

Thanks for ripping the band aid off and making the 1184, Arntor, Valfar, Ein Windir wounds fresh all over again.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

2019 Keepers Spotify Playlist
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15.09.2019 - 20:30
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by BitterCOld on 15.09.2019 at 20:07
Thanks for ripping the band aid off and making the 1184, Arntor, Valfar, Ein Windir wounds fresh all over again.

I am a killjoy, after all
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I have no memory of this place.
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17.09.2019 - 20:38
BetulaObscura
This is great album! True classic!
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17.09.2019 - 20:42
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by BetulaObscura on 17.09.2019 at 20:38
This is great album! True classic!

It's definitely deserving of its place among the top 200 albums all-time on this site -- almost breaking into the top 50, which is really impressive for a black metal album, even if it's of a more melodic nature.
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I have no memory of this place.
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17.09.2019 - 20:43
BetulaObscura
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.09.2019 at 20:42

Written by BetulaObscura on 17.09.2019 at 20:38
This is great album! True classic!

It's definitely deserving of its place among the top 200 albums all-time on this site -- almost breaking into the top 50, which is really impressive for a black metal album, even if it's of a more melodic nature.


No doubt about it!
it is melodic but it is black as Hell as well!
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