As most of you probably know, OTYG is one of Vintersorg's projects. Vintersorg is of course known from his own band VINTERSORG and also for being the singer of Norwegian band BORKNAGAR. Unfortunately Vintersorg only made two OTYG albums before he laid the band to rest, and even if I like his work with his own band and BORKNAGAR, OTYG is still the band closest to my heart. The mix of Metal and Swedish folk music is very much to my taste indeed.
In essence, OTYG is Folk Metal dealing with all the mythical creatures that dwell within the deep Swedish forests. The lyrics are in Swedish, but the melody of it all should really compensate for the language barrier.
OTYG spice up their music with violins and mouth harp, and even if we are getting accustomed to the use of violins in Metal, the mouth harp is a more unusual instrument. For those of you who don't know what a mouth harp is, I can tell you that it's similar to a very small harp, which you play by making the one and only harp string vibrate. You do this by blowing on it while holding it horizontally to your lips, and it hurts like hell when it hits your teeth. My experience as a mouth harp player is very limited, I can tell you that much.
"Älvefärd" is OTYG's first album, and the title translates into something like; "the journey of the fairies". I really like the band's originality, but I must also admit that I absolutely prefer the mid-tempo songs. Their music can come across as a bit stressful when the tempo is increased. The best up-tempo songs on this album are probably "Myrdingar-Martyrium" and "Fjälldrottningens Slott" that have good melody lines, but which still gets a bit stressful on the faster parts.
In songs like "Ulvskrede" you really feel that you can relax and enjoy the music more when the band perform the slower numbers. The beautiful "Fjällstorm" is also a fine example on this, and the band goes absolutely fantastic when they manage to create monumental choruses that simply force you to sing along. There are examples of this in "I Trollberg Och Skog", "I Höstlig Drakt", "Allfader Vise" and "Trollpiskat Ödemarksblod". "Draugen" also fits into this category and is probably the finest song on the entire album.
There are a lot of interesting moments on this album. About fifty percent of the songs are great and the others have their ups and downs. (Online September 4, 2003)
Guest review by Thomas Hansen