Once again, Sweden never ceases to amaze the world, offering a ton of brilliant bands each year. KING OF ASGARD released its fourth album, “Taudr“. A mix of Viking metal elements and black metal, alongside with folk influences, enriched with doom and melodic riffs is the core of “Taudr“. In a way, “Taudr” picks up where “Karg” left off.
The album kicks in very quickly with a brutal blastbeat and a fast-paced melodic guitar riff. For the first half of the album, riffs succeed one another, from fast-paced melodic ones, to doom-like slow rhythms. The drums are playing a crucial role, aggressive when needed, slowing down to the right parts, creating a rather unique and distinct sound. Most of the vocals, brutal enforcing the Viking metal element with a few exceptions of clean abstract vocals in the choruses of the first two songs. A pinch of folk influences is detected in the accordion intro of “Death and a New Sun” and in the outro of “Taudr“.
Unfortunately, despite the impressive elements stated above, the first half of the album is pretty repetitive. The same feeling carries on, with minor distinguishable folk elements. All three songs share the same structure and only a few points of interest are made. The bass is only heard during the intro of “Taudr” and sadly, it is long gone pretty fast. “Taudr” is raising the listeners expectations and quickly take them away without offering much.
“Even though there are signs of repetition, there are no signs of lack of ideas and imagination.”
Thankfully, the rest of the album, makes up for the first part. “…For the Fury of the Norse” is actually a song AMON AMARTH could have wrote. A true Viking metal song, with epic tones and a distinguishable bass line. The chorus is epic making you sing along featuring an amazing solo around the end.
“Upon Raging Waves”, the last song of “Taudr” starts with a soft piano melody, which keeps playing along the guitar until the blastbeast kicks in. An epic atmosphere is being created from the beginning. The song gradually gets heavier while the riffs get more and more epic with a medieval story-like tone. If there was a soundtrack for every epic medieval battle, that would be it. “Upon Raging Waves”, after a while in the folk-theme, progresses in a melodic Norse metal song. Even though the switch is sudden, it is definitely satisfying.
“Taudr” is using its small length, combined with the sudden ending, to hook the listener. The fact that it is thirty-minute long, makes the listener to want more and more. I found myself replaying the album again and again, being addicted to some of the riffs. Even though there are signs of repetition, there are no signs of lack of ideas and imagination. The album is pretty easy to listen if you are into the Norse metal genre. Only if the first three songs were a little like “Upon Raging Waves”, the album would be pure gold.