Rating:
6.5
Månegarm - Urminnes Hävd - The Forest Sessions [EP]
28 June 2006


01. Intro
02. Himmelsfursten
03. Utfärd
04. Älvatrans
05. Hemkomst
06. Döden
07. Vaggvisa


The booklet of Urminnes Hävd-The forest sessions starts with a speech about the idea behind the album, it says that this is a tribute to their ancestors and folk music, and their show of the true heathen spirit. I must admit, I was seriously turned on by these "promises" as being a major folk music nuthead. But the reality my fellow metalstormers is different.

As you might know this is an acoustic album, a folk album. The idea is not that new, as we have seen with Ulver, Finntroll and Skyforger (among others). But, in my opinion, something goes wrong with this album. Lets start with music itself. Ok most of the songs are fast paced and the percussion is done with tribal-like drumming (djembe, maybe?) and this hits me with a question: do the guys of Månegarm think that the Scandinavian folk music was like this?
Done with acoustic guitars, violin, didgeridoo, opera-like female vocals and freakin' African drums? As everyone who knows anything about Scandinavian folk (Or Fennoscandian: Finland and Karelia for that matter) knows, the music was mostly singing with not too many other instruments and simple percussions, or at least that's what it was like in the Viking-age. In my opinion it's pretty embarrassing to talk about one's roots and do music that has almost nothing to do with them.

But it's not like Urminnes Hävd is a shitty album, no. The slower songs seem to work better for me, as they also are little more original pieces in the huge "heathen" and "folk" music swamp today. For the lyrics I'm at least happy that they are in Swedish and not in English.
But still they lack some creativity, as of the "one final tankard of mead before we go to Valhalla"-type of lyrics just leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

All and all Urminnes Hävd is really a medicore addition to its genre today. It's entertaining to listen to the first few times but that's as far as it goes. If you are looking for Scandinavian folk music or the real heathen spirit, I suggest that you keep looking.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 9


Band profile: Månegarm
Album: Urminnes Hävd - The Forest Sessions


 


written by Kurimus | 18.12.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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MétalNoir - 17.12.2009 at 00:50  
I enjoyed this album a lot, personnally, since it was a surprise to me and I wasn't expecting anything in particular. Most tracks are great, like Utfard, Doden and Alvatrans. To me, Urminnes Havd is more like a trollish album in the vein of Visor Om Slutet than a Viking folk effort.
Kurimus - 25.12.2009 at 19:31  
Written by MétalNoir on 17.12.2009 at 00:50

I enjoyed this album a lot, personnally, since it was a surprise to me and I wasn't expecting anything in particular. Most tracks are great, like Utfard, Doden and Alvatrans. To me, Urminnes Havd is more like a trollish album in the vein of Visor Om Slutet than a Viking folk effort.


I went so deep in the swamp of folk metal back in the day that it made me really picky and reserved towards it... Propably because I love Ethnic music and folk metal mostly seemed to "I can has a fail" in it's department... But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously didn't find these two all that similarly classy either in feeling or music.
MétalNoir - 26.12.2009 at 19:23  
Written by Kurimus on 25.12.2009 at 19:31

Written by MétalNoir on 17.12.2009 at 00:50

I enjoyed this album a lot, personnally, since it was a surprise to me and I wasn't expecting anything in particular. Most tracks are great, like Utfard, Doden and Alvatrans. To me, Urminnes Havd is more like a trollish album in the vein of Visor Om Slutet than a Viking folk effort.


I went so deep in the swamp of folk metal back in the day that it made me really picky and reserved towards it... Propably because I love Ethnic music and folk metal mostly seemed to "I can has a fail" in it's department... But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously didn't find these two all that similarly classy either in feeling or music.



I'm not saying Visor Om Slutet and Urminnes Havd are musically similar, it's just that when I listen to Manegarm's acoustic album, I imagine trolls and elves dancing in the depths of a forest, not Vikings chanting their heroic raids and drakkar sailing.
Warman - 26.12.2009 at 20:14  
I can understand the rating, it's surely not a great EP but I like it. Very nice when you need something mellow and I too am glad that the lyrics are 100 % in Swedish. It fits the band so much better.
Kurimus - 30.12.2009 at 20:54  
Written by MétalNoir on 26.12.2009 at 19:23

Written by Kurimus on 25.12.2009 at 19:31

Written by MétalNoir on 17.12.2009 at 00:50

I enjoyed this album a lot, personnally, since it was a surprise to me and I wasn't expecting anything in particular. Most tracks are great, like Utfard, Doden and Alvatrans. To me, Urminnes Havd is more like a trollish album in the vein of Visor Om Slutet than a Viking folk effort.


I went so deep in the swamp of folk metal back in the day that it made me really picky and reserved towards it... Propably because I love Ethnic music and folk metal mostly seemed to "I can has a fail" in it's department... But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously didn't find these two all that similarly classy either in feeling or music.



I'm not saying Visor Om Slutet and Urminnes Havd are musically similar, it's just that when I listen to Manegarm's acoustic album, I imagine trolls and elves dancing in the depths of a forest, not Vikings chanting their heroic raids and drakkar sailing.


"But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously #didn't find these two# all that #similarly classy# either #in feeling# or music"
Weight on the word classy.
Kurimus - 30.12.2009 at 20:58  
Written by Warman on 26.12.2009 at 20:14

I can understand the rating, it's surely not a great EP but I like it. Very nice when you need something mellow and I too am glad that the lyrics are 100 % in Swedish. It fits the band so much better.


Hmm.. It didn't make me mellow at all.. On personal liking of the record we agree to disagree.
Maybe the lyrics were what saved the experience for you... But on the other hand, I've played and listened to so much "real" traditional music that this seemed like diet coke for sugar addict. Am I making sense?
MétalNoir - 30.12.2009 at 22:24  
Written by Kurimus on 30.12.2009 at 20:54

Written by MétalNoir on 26.12.2009 at 19:23

Written by Kurimus on 25.12.2009 at 19:31

Written by MétalNoir on 17.12.2009 at 00:50

I enjoyed this album a lot, personnally, since it was a surprise to me and I wasn't expecting anything in particular. Most tracks are great, like Utfard, Doden and Alvatrans. To me, Urminnes Havd is more like a trollish album in the vein of Visor Om Slutet than a Viking folk effort.


I went so deep in the swamp of folk metal back in the day that it made me really picky and reserved towards it... Propably because I love Ethnic music and folk metal mostly seemed to "I can has a fail" in it's department... But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously didn't find these two all that similarly classy either in feeling or music.



I'm not saying Visor Om Slutet and Urminnes Havd are musically similar, it's just that when I listen to Manegarm's acoustic album, I imagine trolls and elves dancing in the depths of a forest, not Vikings chanting their heroic raids and drakkar sailing.


"But I actually adore Visor om Slutet so I obviously #didn't find these two# all that #similarly classy# either #in feeling# or music"
Weight on the word classy.


Sorry, I don't get it... what do you mean, "classy"?

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