Allegiance – Hymns of Blod

qb_32403_allegianceAlong with the new Voi Vod and Darkthrone releases, “Hymns of Blod” is among my favorite albums for 2003 thus far. It has been a long time since I have heard this many rich harmonies and a unique vocal style interact so perfectly on an album and this makes Sweden’s Allegiance one of the best black influenced metal bands currently residing on Scandinavian soil. Featuring Fredrick Andersson (ex-Marduk) and who appears to be Marduk’s B War, the Allegiance rhythm section is tested and true, featuring some very fluent and moving bass lines that flow through the dense guitar tone and melodically dissonant chord work. The folk styled guitar riffs are full of life and movement, alternating between the aforementioned blurry chord work and more distinct harmonies that leap out of the structures to enhance the Viking slant of this material. Vocally, the delivery is very harsh yet passionate, as the screamer embellishes by rolling his “R’s” to give his pipes much more of a unique style. The more I peruse the bio for “Hymns of Blod”, I’m led to believe that this is a “best of” type of release, but with the songs re-recorded (this is very unclear). I have a dub of the excellent “Hymn Till Hangagud” and thought some of those tracks may have been present here (sounded very familiar), but otherwise, I am confused over the status of this album. I need to track down Allegiance’s other works to confirm if this is indeed a collection, but regardless the intention, “Hymns of Blod” is an incredible album full of Viking fury and an atmosphere that breaths with the spirit of the forest. Amazing. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 2, 2009.

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