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Manegarm: Legions of the North

Sometimes in this racket one gets the chance to actually listen to stuff for pleasure (sometimes, but not often) and I had already chosen this one before I was asked to review it. It would be fair to say that I wholeheartedly recommend this album. It's full of great songs such as the crunching yet melodic "Hordes of Hel" followed by the ferocious "Tor Hjälpe". Stylistically we're all over the shop. The title track could be Cradle of Filth, Equilibrium, Ensiferum or numerous others yet still comes out sounding like Manegarm.

Now whilst I genuinely like the album, somebody at Naplam Records needs to have a word with themselves for this magnificent piece of over-the-top introduction to the band in their press release, "The time has come to pick up the shields and sharpen the swords – the legions of the North have set sail to conquer! With their seventh album Legions of the North, the Swedes MANEGARM deliver a true masterpiece into the living room of Viking/Pagan Metal fans." I know the conventions of the press release require bullshit but come on, let's not herald a masterpiece as only time can bestow such a compliment. Said press release ends with, "Legions of the North is a true and authentic album that will also take fans outside of the Viking genre by storm." I'm not overly sure about that as a) I can't see where non-fans would get to hear this and b) the whole Viking/Pagan genre is a fairly niche market. That said, Amon Amarth have just had a Top 20 album in the US so what do I know?

If you like any of the bands which I mentioned in the opening paragraph or like melody with your growled vocals you'll find much to get along with on this one.

Track Listing:
  1. Arise
  2. Legions of the North
  3. Eternity Awaits
  4. Helveg
  5. Hordes of Hel
  6. Tor Hjälpe
  7. Vigverk
  8. Sons of War
  9. Echoes from the Past
  10. Fallen

Added: July 17th 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1715
Language: english

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