Kampfar – Heimgang

kampfar_heimgangYou’ve all heard that timeless adage; a band is only as good as their drummer? Well sometimes that’s not always the case. Old Paradise Lost consistently suffered from bare minimum drum embellishments, yet their first 2 remain classics in my mind. There are other examples, but escape me at the moment. Ever since Norway’s Kampfar have emerged from the contractual limbo with 2006’s “Kvass”, Dolk (which stands for “The Shirtless One”… ok…. Bad joke) and crew have victoriously upheld their own strain of pure and true Norwegian black metal. The music is a harmonious full breath of dissonant and wondrous melody by way of full chords and interesting riff ideas. Listening to this band easily takes one back to the mid 90’s where it was an exciting time for this genre. With their 4th full-length release, “Heimgang”, Kampfar have given the fans exactly what they expected… zero progression or style shift which I can completely respect. The problem? As with the last album, this material is musically full of life, but rhythmically stagnant. Perhaps it was always this way with this band, but I have never noticed it too much until they upgraded their production values, bringing the drums to the forefront of the mix. Drummer II13 gets the job done and on tracks like “Dodens Vee”, actually offers a bit of fire and tribal fills to give the more minimal segments of music the power it needs. But for the rest of this album, he’s stuck in the barren polka beat, doing bare minimum to colorize this otherwise well written music. Regardless, every track on “Heimgang” is enjoyable, with tracks like “Vettekult” showing a glimmer of musical progression with more interesting song structures and shifts in overall atmosphere. Again, if you have enjoyed Kampfar past and present, “Heimgang” will again impress you with Dolk’s desire for the ancient flame of Norge Black metal. Just try to look past the simplistic to the point of annoyance drum work and you’re all set. –Marty


~ by martyworm on January 25, 2009.

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