Månegarm from Sweden have been making their distinctive brand of folk metal since 1995, their 10th album, Ynglingaättens Öde, is their latest offering. The band combines traditional folk with black metal to speak of ancient warriors, battles, and pagan tales.
Frontman Erik Grawsiö has the ability to shift his vocals from nasty black metal to melodic folk which provides a wonderful contrast, capturing the storytelling in a most convincing manner. There are moments on the album where the riffs remind me a little of Amon Amarth, but with the folk melodies added, it gives the music the bounce that is synonymous with folk metal. The contrast between the folk melodies and the black metal vocal style works brilliantly.
En snara av guld has a stunning intro, with enchanting melodies and a riff that builds into something epic. The strings are light and elegant, matched by ethereal vocals, provided by Grawsiö’s daughter Lea, which are steeped in the folk style, a slower track that has an almost mournful feel to it. The layers in this track give you so much to notice, clever bass licks, vocal harmonies, strings, and riffs that make it impossible not to get carried away on the melodies intertwining.
Stridsgalten is total folk metal goodness. It has lilting melodies and chanting vocals, then moves to verses with vocals that swing from style to style. The tempo increases and decreases while still maintaining the hypnotic folk rhythms throughout. My favorite track on the album.
Auns söner leans heavily towards the black metal side of the band’s repertoire. The vocals are great! The chorus is catchy and lighter in mood, which only serves to highlight the darker riffs and vocals in the verses.
Månegarm has clearly perfected its craft and has a knack of being able to capture their passion for cultural storytelling and combine it with the primal black metal atmosphere to transport the listener to a time long past. Hågkomst av ett liv was a surprise amongst the heavier tracks on the album, a stunningly beautiful acoustic track with a haunting violin and an exquisite vocal duet from Grawsiö and guest vocalist Ellinor Videfors.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Freyr’s Blod, the entire ten minutes of this track epitomizes Månegarm’s brand of metal, it is triumphant and magnificent. The musicianship in the band is on display throughout, it shines a light on each instrument, taking you on a pilgrimage of discovery. The track twists and turns through all the tools Månegarm have in their arsenal. For a song of this length, it holds your attention in the most captivating manner.
An amazing album from Månegarm which will appeal to fans of folk metal and black metal.
Release Year: 2022
Label: Napalm Records
Reviewed by ForsakenMisery