Redbad is the collective work of three musicians: Amalgamoth (lyrics, vocals and keyboards), Otrebor (drums) and Zaragil (guitars & bass). These guys have never met or even talked on the phone before. Besides, they live in different countries (US, Croatia and The Netherlands).
Normally, pagan metal ranks right into my favorites type of metal. Upon listening to Redbad though, I realized there were some exceptions to the rule. Mind you, the sleeve mentioned: "66:06 minutes of bestial pagan chaos". The first four tracks are actually kind of painful. You can hear lots of distortion in a chaotic environment. This is where I started paying attention to the drumming, being the only decipherable parts, as well as a bit of bass lines , and I am a guitar player see
Then, in the middle of all this, came a series of compositions that saved the situation somewhat. They are tracks #5 to 7, namely "The Poisoning", "Pagan Pride in Hell" and "Talisman of Fate". Those are nothing too fancy as such, just more refined in sound and more melodic. The first one is a mid tempo crusher with nice distorted arpeggios and it is an instrumental piece. This is followed by a track that threw me off when I heard clean epic vocals and melodic keyboards, both accompanied by the heavy guitar work. The last one also bears its melodic moments and contains calmer times. As for the remaining songs on this album, they come with strange sounds & patterns and the usual chaotic / distorted climate, although being more enjoyable than the first tracks.
Ophidian Forest's Redbad is primarily a raw, distorted and chaotic release, but it has also some harmonies and melodic moments. Listening before buying is suggested.
1 A Herald on Silver Wings
2 Savage Day Rising
3 Shamanic Visions
4 The Ophidian Amulet
5 The Poisoning
6 Pagan Pride in Hell
7 Talisman of Fate
8 Thor Rides Over Dokkum
9 The Desecration of Fositeland