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┴SMEGIN
www.asmegin.com
When this promo turned up for review, I initially believed to be holding the new offering from Arv, the Norwegian black metal band. An erroneous observation, as this is actually ┴smegin's latest studio CD called 'Arv', an album title that foreshadows the band's less prominent logo on the cover. Anyway, onto the music which is, according to the promo sleeve, 'Nordic Folk Metal'. With post-Skyclad folk metal influences currently rife within the scene and never more popular, this release from ┴smegin is a refreshingly innovative take on the subgenre. To describe 'Arv' as progressive folk metal would perhaps be a tad pretentious, although it is distinctly different from most other so called folk metal acts currently out there. Stylistically diverse, the interplay between black metal growls and female vocals occasionally brings to mind Cruachan such as on opening number 'Fandens MŠlkeb°tte' while the album's title track is reminiscent of Norwegian experimental avant-gardist duo Solefald. I guess the Solefald influence is more pronounced due to clean vocals performed by none other than Lars Nedland (better know to Solefald aficionados as Lazare). Lyrics are scribed in both Norwegian and Old Norse, so it seems the Nordic Folk Metal label is an apt one, but what is most pleasing about 'Arv' is its ability to hold the listener's attention from start to finish (at least it did mine) through its continuous diversity. As each track's audible treats unfold, the album continues to reveal great musical depth throughout, climaxing with the epic 'En Myrmylne' which even incorporates a lengthy passage of what can only be described as blackened progressive folk doom (now we're definitely talking pretentious labels!). Recommended for anyone who has become tired of contemporary folk metal's all too often unidimensional idioms as, with 'Arv', ┴smegin have just broadened the subgenre's boundaries.
LABEL:
FORMAT:
Napalm Records
Album
ARV
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Review by Mark Holmes
RUNNING TIME:
42:15
RELEASE DATE:
1st Dec 2008
TRACK LISTING
1) Fandens MŠlkeb°tte
2) Hiertebrand
3) Generalen Og Troldharen
4) Arv
5) Yndifall
6) Gengangeren
7) Prunkende, Stolt I Jokumsol
8) En Myrmylne
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
Norway
"Recommended for anyone who has become tired of contemporary folk metal's all too often unidimensional idioms as, with 'Arv', ┴smegin have just broadened the subgenre's boundaries."