I never did one of those ancestry mail-in kits to see where your roots lie, but if I did and found out I was 0.01% Viking, then I would totally be like the guy in that commercial who wears the armor, helmet and shield everywhere! I’d be damn proud to be Viking haha, and since I haven’t mailed in my DNA yet, there is a chance! So then of course I had to listen to the music of my possible people and fully embrace Kvasir’s (a wiseman and poet from Norse mythology) new album.
Kvasir released their album titled 4 on June 28th through Glory Or Death Records. The album was engineered and produced by Jesse Payne at Low Shelf Recording. All artwork was created by Greg Traw. Interestingly, the album was mastered for digital release by Justin Longerbeam, with vinyl mastering by Tony Reed at HeavyHead. Justin did a fantastic job but with Tony Reed at the helm for vinyl mastering, well it’s just another reason for promos to be sent to us reviewers in vinyl! (Right Liam??)
Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of slower more ambient music similar to Amenra’s live acoustic work, so opening the album with Where The Gods Go To Pray, Kvasir launched me back into fast paced music with many changes and SOLOS! This transitions perfectly into Authenticity And The Illusion Of Enough. Fantastic distorted palm muted riffs and leads all backed by a monstrous drum and bass combo that will bring your house to rubble if played too loud.
This brings us to track three, Slow Death Of Life. It immediately grabs your attention with a catchy Clutch like intro riff and continues adding in a second guitar playing the harmony, which is fitting because I’m wearing my Iron Maiden shirt while writing this! It’s a slower paced song that really shows off Christopher Lee’s vocal range.
Grab your broad sword and lamellar (a type of Norse armor, yes, I had to look it up, I must not be a true Viking) and man those ships. Don’t forget to turn on Earthly Algorithms because it’s what I imagine the Vikings listen to as they set sail for battle. The heavily distorted riffs and thundering drums build up the aggression inside to be let loose in combat.
distorted palm muted riffs and leads all backed by a monstrous drum and bass combo…
The driving chug opening up the next track will surely get you a speeding ticket if played in the car. Chill For A Church is a grand song and continues to get that blood pumping. The riff riddled song leaves plenty of room for epic solos and Kvasir delivers with an almost two minute long fast paced solo closing out the song.
The Brink and The Black Mailbox are placed back to back and I’m glad they are. Although the songs up until now have a similar vibe throughout, I feel these two could easily be on any Iron Maiden album. With the music as grand as it is, and the possibilities (although expensive) of enormous Viking themed stage setups as seen by Amon Amarth, by combing the two, could we be listening to Iron Maiden’s successor? I know it’s a controversial subject and big bands are falling by the wayside, but just maybe we could be witnessing history.
That brings us to the end. Alchemy Of Identity clocks in at just under seven minutes and is filled from start to finish with epic riffs, smooth low end bass lines and pummeling drums that drive this album to a close. The song starts with a two and a half minute intro with a slower soulful solo but still keeps that Kvasir heaviness we’ve heard throughout this intense album. The song really kicks in at around three minutes and continues into a long fast paced outro with yet another fantastic guitar shredding harmonic solo.
Like I’ve stated earlier, I’ve been listening to a lot of ambient type music and this album was the kick in the ass I needed to get back into heavy paced good old rock and roll. Now to go check the results and see if my ancestors were Vikings.
Scribed by: Josuph Price