Wolves in the Battlefront

There are a few quality Amon Amarth knock offs out there; Heathen Foray, Asenblut, Wandersword and even Evocation are an Amon Amarth clone now. Adding to that list but adding some rather weird gore and undead themes into the Viking mix is Spain’s Vikingore and their fair to middling debut album Wolves in the Battlefront.

I’m going to assume that because you are at this site reading a review by a band called Vikingore, I don’t need to summarize what Amon Amarth sound like, but needless to say, Vikingore do ape the sound very well, albeit a bit rougher and looser, and of course without the big budget and production. But they have the beards, folded arms, scowls and spiked wristbands to make up a little for what they lack in production values resulting in a decent little album that will obviously be buried by Deceiver of the Gods, but does offer a more raw and dare I say less cookie cutter variation of a tried and battle tested sound.

Melodic zombie viking death metal from Spain might not have its own category on Wikipedia yet, but credit where credit is due, these hombres have some energy and occasionally pen something rivaling their oft-criticized peers, just without the polish (think a rougher Amon Amarth‘s “Siegreicher Marsch”). The riffs are catchy, chunky and melodic with hints of Viking atmospheres with lots of epic melodic leads and vocalist ‘Angel’ is a dead ringer for Johann Hegg with gruff shouts and screams, but with less lyrics about epic battles and Norse mythology, but more about Vikings rising from the dead and causing all manner of undead-ly issues.

And while those slightly left of Yggdrasil themes are dominant in all the songs, it really does not affect the music as its pure Amon Amarth-based riffery all the way, and I don’t think these guys are ashamed of their mimicry and wear it on their sleeve. As with their peers, there are faster galloping songs (“The Wrath”, “Red Fog”, “Feasting Upon the Butchered”) mid paced, galloping songs (“The Undead’s Rising”, “Forgotten by the Gods”, “Yimmir’s Disembowelment”) and slower, somber numbers (“Justice’s Fall”, particularity catchy “The Witchery”), all with more than tangible nods to their more famous peers. But it is done well enough and with a likeable, honest presence and even the undead visage gives it a little different spin away from “ARRRRRGGGGH THOOOOOOOOOORRRRR”.

If you are one of the folks that think Amon Amarth have called it in (again) with their newest opus, Vikingore might offer a more honest and primal throwback alternative, though certainly not a quality replacement as they will never be the behemoths that they modeled themselves after.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 2nd, 2013


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