Nydvind - Sworn To The Elders
29 January 2010

01. Gates To A Distant Past
02. Son Of Fire
03. To Enter the Realm Of The Ravenlord
04. Sworn To The Elders
05. Upon The Throne Of North
06. Nordic Dawn
07. Icewinds Unleashed
08. The Godless

It's amazing how your actual state of being can completely change your experience of an album. Take this Sworn To The Elders. First time I listened to it, I was tired, a bit drunk because of some beer, and I listened to it with headphones. And well, I had a fucking blast, hummed long, and raised my imaginary sword high to hail fallen warriors.
Second listen, at home with my hi-fi at moderate volume, while eating. Well, it just made me drowsy and I found it waaaay to long.
So, what to think...?

Now, before any other consideration or judgment, let's say that Nydvind are Bran Barr's twin band (twin as it's almost the same line-up that recorded both albums), but on the pagan black metal side of things.
It's quite classical in its pagan structure, with either long and epic mid-tempo songs or shorter and more upbeat ones, its catchy riffs, backing warrior choirs, and moody parts (which are good and not too folky on the whole). Let it be said that the crystal-clear production adds a lot of dynamics, with the great sound given to both bass and drums (and indeed, to everything!).

So, how does it compare to its celtic twin? Well, Bran Barr has much more identity, is clearly story focused, but surely won't please anyone remotely allergic to flutes and stuff; while Nydvind is less original, but it shines through its many catchy riffs. Also, both succeed in evoking a feeling of mythical ages gone by.

And now, let's see…
Yes, this record is good.
Yes, it is epic and enjoyable.
But also yes, some songs are too long for their own good, at least for some people the difference will be thin indeed between mesmerizing and boring…
So yes, it is some real pagan goodness, perfect for all fans of the genre, and it's worth checking for everyone else anyway!

Band profile: Nydvind
Album: Sworn To The Elders


Written on 26.05.2010 by
Darkside Momo
Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.
More reviews by Darkside Momo ››


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Thanntos - 28.05.2010 at 00:40  
I did not get a chance to listen to this bands first album, so I only have this to judge them upon. I like what I heard though, it's not exactly fresh or original, but it has a very epic feel to it and has really good atmosphere with the epic chants and acoustic instrument sections. The vocals on this are pretty decent, not ground breaking, but not generic like most folk metal bands have,which is nice. I expect to see better Folk Metal this year, though don't count this band out of as they made a pretty decent album.

I'd give this a straight 7.

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