Angantyr - Svig
Northern Silence Productions
Melodic Northern Black Metal
6 songs (48'16")
Release year: 2010
Angantyr, Northern Silence
Reviewed by Alex

My last encounter with Angantyr was its split with Nasheim, where Ynleborgaz went all trance black thrash on us, but lost the split hands down to a 25 min Nasheim epic composition. Svig, released on Northern Silence, continues Ynleborgaz’s story about the travails of his protagonist Arngrim, whose family was decimated by Christians. Began on Haevn, and touched upon in the aforementioned split, the story moves from Revenge to Deceit stages now and perhaps contradicts some of the historical facts which show Danes to be good conquerors themselves, having subjugated the Christian Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the British Isles in the 9th century.

Nevertheless, it is beyond doubt that many wrongs were laid at the feet of European Northern pagan people by its emerging Christian population in the middle ages and Ynleborgaz is going to remind us about it. Another undeniable truth is the fact that the man has not lost his ability to compose most honest and authentic riffs. Taking a large step in the direction of unbridled melodicism, Svig mixes tremolo picking and chord work, settling blasts into profound rolling double bass runs, above which Ynleborgaz sends his hoarse shrieks literally soaring. It is true that with Svig Angantyr is going to lean on the familiar motifs of early Borknagar, early Enslaved and the Viking era Bathory. Yet, Ynleborgaz paints such vivid believable images with his music, you feel like you are out there traveling with Arngrim, daydreaming through his battles. If albums like Svig don’t inspire you to learn more about the old Scandinavian history, if you don’t feel like picking up a book on the subject, then nothing probably will. Another distinct feature of the album is while its saga probably deals with dark matters in difficult times, its music is nothing short of uplifting, filling you with pride. Even if the main riff and melody of the title track reveal a hint of sadness, the ultimate feeling on the album is that of resolve and perseverance, the features of character many Northern people imbibe with their mother’s milk.

Church organ at the beginning of En Fjendes Dod is just as beautiful as the violence, which comes right after, is dreadful. Yet in all its blasting and blackness, you can’t help but notice certain nobility in Angantyr’s approach in Svig. There is no dirtiness or ugliness in Ynleborgaz/Arngrim’s rage, you feel that this anger and fury are rightly justified, when barbarian choir feasts at the end of En Fjendes Dod amidst that Christian cathedral probably laid in ruins. Beginning with the second half of Raukes Ran, Svig goes on a melodic rampage, which continues on with Skyggespil and the title track itself. Trying to vary and alternate parts, Ynleborgaz has Svig melodies just like waves coming ashore, the album never really becoming long or tedious, except perhaps at the end of the closer Arngrims Armod, the track which begins with very tribal acoustics and tom percussion. In this light Svig avoids some of the potholes of Haevn, which went on for more than 70 min worth of music. Svig production also contains just the right amount of roughness, drums sounding big and guitars nowhere near as grating as on the split with Nasheim.

Ynleborgaz has a story to tell with his albums, and does it well on Svig. If you, just like me, could care less about the familiarity factor, but want to experience some genuine and from the heart Northern Black Metal, if some of your favorite albums are early Windir and Kampfar, Svig will definitely hit the right spot.

Killing Songs :
Raukes Ran, Skyggespil, Svig
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Angantyr that we have reviewed:
Angantyr - Forvist reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
Angantyr - Sejr reviewed by Daniel and quoted 72 / 100
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