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Kampfar - Kvass (7,5/10) - Norway - 2006

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Playing time: 45:58
Band homepage: Kampfar

Tracklist:

  1. Lyktemenn
  2. Til Siste Mann
  3. Ravenheart >mp3
  4. Ildverden
  5. Hat Og Avind
  6. Gaman Av Drømmer
Kampfar - Kvass

It took them a lengthy seven years until they finally came out with a new album, talking about the Norwegians of KAMPFAR. In the past they had been recommended to Viking Metal fans, even though they themselves always distanced themselves from it, seeing themselves as Black Metal band, a stance I am agreeing with, because “Kvass” definitely is no Viking Metal, even if a few of the melodies are a bit Folk influenced.

 

Instead one could view this album as some sort of link between pretty raw Black Metal and melodies, because we get both without drifting off into nihilism on the one side nor into bombast on the other, no, KAMPFAR operate on a different level here. The opener "Lyktemenn", for example, sets out with a monotonous riff over a very straight rhythm, which immediately shoots into your memory and will ghost around for days at a time, before they turn a lot more Black Metallic and especially Dolk’s gnarly voice is an absolute characteristic of KAMPFAR.

 

Blastbeats find their way into the music only here and there and even then not for long, instead they often operate with double-bass with a mid-paced snare rhythm, but they gear down every now and then, showing that raw Black Metal does not have to be monotonous, linear blasting. The melodies give the cold songs a bit of warmth and also make it more appealing to fans, who normally have their problems with the rather archaic form of this style and the light use of choirs (e.g. on "Lyktemenn" and "Hat Og Avind") also is a very welcome element in the Norwegians’ sound.

 

Surely it will take some time to get warm with KAMPFAR, as the long compositions should appeal to fans of both sides, but that is not that easy to find, but only starts to seep out after several rotations. Black Metal fans should be quick to learn to love "Kvass", but in general if you think that melodies and raw Black Metal could fit together, check out these Norwegians. (Online July 29, 2006)

Alexander Melzer



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