Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest review of " North" by King of Asgard written by Left Hand Creation bassist Rob Holden

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I would just like to take the time to introduce a guest reviewer that is helping me out by bringing you a more in depth look at some of the albums I will be reviewing. Rob Holden is the bassist of Oshawa, Ontario based metal band Left Hand Creation. They combine all types of metal and make it their own with brutal riffs and gut wrenching vocals. You can like their page here and you should show some support for local bands!

Buy This Album

1. Intro
2. The Nine Worlds Burn
3. The Dispossessed
4. Gap of Ginnungs
5. Bound to Reunite
6. Nordvegr
7. Up On The Mountain
8. Plage-Ridden Rebirth
9. Harvest (The End)
10. …to North

“KING OF ASGARD took form in 2008 by founder Karl Beckman. Teaming up with long time fellow worker, Karsten Larsson, once together in the well known viking horde Mithotyn. Now re-entering their roots, the foundation of King of Asgard was a fact. Both musically as well as in the Norse heritage used as lyrical approach. In January 2009 the first recording was done. Resulting in the demo "Prince of Märings", a seven track disc recorded in Lotang studio. In November the same year, Jonas Albrektsson (ex-Thy Primordial)  joined KING OF ASGARD. The three piece now took serious form, meanwhile the demo recording was well received and caught the interest of Metal Blade Records. In December of 2009 KING OF ASGARD inked a deal with METAL BLADE RECORDS! Sonic Train Studios in VarbergSweden were booked and in March 2010 the debut album was recorded together with engineer Andy LaRocque. KING OF ASGARD nailed down thirteen songs of folk based blackened death metal reminding of times of old. During the summer a video was shot for the album opener "Einhärjar", produced by Rickard Moneus from the production company 1897 ( KING OF ASGARD's debut album "Fi'mbulvintr" was released in August of 2010 and made an astonishing impact on the scene. Still, the band was in need of a second guitarist for future live events and after all Lars Tängmark was hired for the job in August of 2010. KING OF ASGARD finally started being active as a live performing act and played a bunch of successful festivals and club shows during 2010 and 2011. In early 2012 KING OF ASGARD finished the songwriting for their second album and returned to Sonic Train Studios in April, again with Andy LaRocque at the helm, to record "...To North". Another video will be shot in May, yet again with producer Rickard Moneus.”

King of Asgard is a melodic Norse death metal band from Sweden, and is releasing their second studio album “…To North” on Tuesday, July 31st. The album opens with a power chord, which then cuts out into battle horns and war drums; instantly settling the score for the rest of the album, making it seem normal to be hearing distortion guitar over battle sounds. Excellent. Thirty four seconds of ball tickling and then we get into the first track “The Nine World’s Burn”. The riffs in this song are mid paced and very catchy and powerful. Instantly you will notice the guitar tone is larger than life, accompanied with a powerful bass tone that is so high in the mix it rattles your eye sockets with each listen. Once this song gets going it will become an instant favorite, good luck putting this album down!  It will be very difficult to convince listeners that this is NOT an Amon Amarth copycat band, even though many ideals, sounds and structures are very similar. No doubt that the Power Of Thy Sword type of metal may be overdone in the industry now, King Of Asgard found a way to renew and combine many different elements into a masterpiece; Including clean vocal chants, female opera-folk cross over style singing, classical harp and acoustic medleys and a vast array of guitar harmonies throughout the album.

“The Dispossessed” holds the same theme as the rest of the album, however, this song introduces old school black metal influence as well, reminding me of early Amon Amarth mixed with Dissection and Bathory (How awesome is that!). “Gap of Ginnungs” is my favorite track off the album. A slower paced, simple but powerful battle epic. Step aside Manowar; you are no longer king of the boner metal! This track is also the debut of KoA’s fantastic vocal ranges in chants on this album. Each track after this continues with the same battle themes and unwavering heaviness throughout a powerful melodic overtone. The track “Nordvegr” is another favorite of mine.

As much as I can rave on about this album, the immediate negative that I must discuss with you now, is their very disappointing ending to the record. The self-title track “…To North” is a mediocre instrumental, leading me to believe that the previous song “Harvest(The End)” would be the implied ending to this great masterpiece of an album, however, I feel it was also their weakest song throughout. But no matter! With an ending like that, one is only compelled to go back to the beginning and listen to the first eight tracks over and over again!

I recommend this album to anyone that has ever had sex while watching Lord Of The Rings, slain a mighty hero, burned a witch at the stake, or successfully bred many fire-hybrid dragons. For anyone who was terribly disappointed with Amon Amarth’s new album, never fear! Save your pocket change and head out on the 31st to pick up King Of Asgard’s album!

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