Longtime fans know that I'm kind of a folk metal dork - I love everything with galloping rhythms and a triumphant dedication to the gods of the north. That's why I was pretty stoked when I lucked into getting the new release from Swedish stalwarts Manegarm. Wonderfully brutal but also full of sublime and light moments Manegarm have simply added to the legend with this latest piece, yet another gem in the bands crown. Soaring loud and proud Manegarm speaks to the magic of the north and rings forth in our hearts.
The duality of this record is a huge part of what makes it so gosh darn enjoyable for me. The moments of acoustic and melodic magic are perfectly balanced against warlike riffs and epic vocal lines. Beyond that - Manegarm are fully aware of their own bombast - which only makes this album all the better. There has always been an inherent drama in folk metal but it is only the truly excellent bands who capitalize on it, Manegarm is one of those bands. Riding forth with Manegarm is a pleasure, not just because you get a sense of times forgot, but also because it gives us a chance to escape from this reality and fall in love with one that Manegarm paint with ease.
Manegarm have always impressed me with their years of evolution, every album ends up stronger than the last. Very few bands have been doing this for as long as Manegarm and they are lords in their own right. This new record is ridiculously enjoyable and devilishly addictive - both hallmarks of what makes folk metal so special. Manegarm have created a record that is cinematic in scale and easy to fall in love with. If you, like me, have always been in love with the magical songs of the north then you too might find yourself unable to escape Manegarms grasp.
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