Vikingtid Og Anarki

Here’s another one of Einheit Produktionen’s belated 2008 releases and while not as impressive as Andras’s Iron Way, Norway’s SorgSvart does offer a very unique and playful take on Viking/Pagan black metal.

Comprised of one man, Sorg (not Vintersorg’s Sorg), Vikingtid Og Anarki is actually his second album, but my first introduction to him, and to be honest I’m torn between really enjoying it, and thinking its just too much and too disjointed. The enjoyment hits right away with the 11 minute opening title track which covers the gamut from blazing black metal to (lots of) mouth harps, beer hall choirs, Swedish Chef (from the Muppets) vocals, female vocals, synths and everything in between. The disjointedness starts to occur around the 15 minute “Bleivikmaen ein Haglandsfaen”. To be honest, a comparison is almost impossible as Sorg culls from virtually every facet of every known pagan/folk/Viking metal band in existence.

However, this ambitious influx of influences often makes the material a bit over whelming if enjoyable, as it jumps for vast choral arrangements to melodic, bouncy Finnish folk, to black metal (“Hedersmann”), to acoustics (“Vikingtid Og Anarki (Instrumental)”, to sudden injections of epic atmospherics – all of them arriving suddenly and leaving just as quickly within seconds within a single song. For one 11 minute title track it’s listenable, but 8 songs and an hour later (especially the 15 minute “Bleivikmaen ein Haglandsfaen”, despite some cool solo work about 4 minutes in, it gets a bit silly about halfway in), it’s a bit of a jumble. Sorg can’t decide if he wants to be the “Viking of Anarchy” or something more playful, epic and amicable.

That all being said, Sorg is ambitious and talented with a ton of ideas, making an album that does not sound like a one man project despite the jumling of elements, sometimes hokey keys (‘KrakAviso”, “Underligt Vidunderligt”) and flat production. His wide array of vocals are enjoyable and at times when he does settle down for more than a second or two it is rather enjoyable (“Hedersmann”, the very nicely done “Op Kamarat!”, “Trøst”), with a rather grin inducing sense of pagan joy.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 20th, 2009


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