Isengard - Hostmorke LP
Isengard - Hostmorke LP
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Gylve Nagell, mainly known as Fenriz, is well known for being the drummer of the black metal band Darkthrone. However, he also has been featured in many other bands and made some side projects along the way. Whether it be his ambient project Neptune Towers or being involved in the short-lived band Storm, his side projects have been fascinating to check out. However, one of his best side projects in my opinion would have to be his one-man band Isengard. Named after a large fortress in Lord of the Rings, Fenriz would use this band to mix black/death metal before eventually moving into a more folk/viking metal sound with his only studio album "Høstmørke". This album is not only an improvement from its previous works, but its use of folk and viking themes give the album an unique style that doesn't make it feel like a generic folk metal album.
Lets start off with the instruments. While there are some black metal elements, it also mixes in some folk elements. A good example of this would be in the first track "Neslepaks". The guitars play black metal-like riffs, but have more of a folk structure, which gives the riffs a dark viking sound. The drums also beat in more technical patterns, and give off an epic sound. This mix of black metal and folk elements give the overall atmosphere of most songs a feeling of darkness and grandness. While the instruments in "Neslepaks" are great, "I kamp med Kvitekrist" and "Over de syngende øde moer" have the best instruments on this album. This is because they lean more towards the folk themes, and they execute the epic atmosphere extremely well. Whether it be the folk sound of "I ei gran borti Nordre Åsen" or the raw black metal sound of "Total Death", this album is able to mix these elements well.
But one of the best parts of the album is the vocals. Fenriz does the vocals here, and they sound amazing. Like in "Nordavind", he goes for some epic singing vocals and they sound beautiful. One of the best example of this would be in the track "Over de syngende øde moer". There, his voice sounds grand and heavenly, which enhances the more vast and grand atmosphere of the track. In tracks where he does shriek, like in "Total Death", they're not that bad either. They make Fenriz sound very evil, and the vocals flow well to the fast and chaotic instruments. Fenriz's versatile vocals sound great, and they flow well to the instruments. - Metal Archives Review