King of Asgard – Karg (Metal Blade)Tuesday, 8th July 2014
After two albums, King of Asgard is back for round three with Karg. Featuring members from Mithotyn, Falconer, and Dawn, it’s safe to say that these guys are able to keep the authenticity in their brand of Viking metal. Sharpen your finest blade and let’s get on with it!
The album comes off with guns blazing (or is it blades sharpened?) for the first few tracks. Opener “The Runes of Hel” gives the visceral oomph of a solid lead-off track and this energy carries over into the follow-ups “The Trickster,” “Highland Rebellion,” and “Remnant of the Past.” “Remnant of the Past” also has some effective clean vocals that give the song a little something extra. Just when the momentum is riding high, “Omma” trudges a bit too far past it’s necessary runtime. However, “The Heritage Throne” picks up steam with some solid gallop and melodies and steadies the band back in the right direction. The faster pace of “Huldran” continues this fine motion and “Rising” has all the epic, fist-pounding moments of a closer (note how this band opens and closes at full strength). It should also be mentioned that the bonus track, a cover of Bathory’s “Total Destruction,” really gets the blood pressure pumping just before things come to an end. This is definitely a track worth seeking out.
All in all, Karg provides a solid slab of Viking metal that manages to convey all of its ethos through traditional metal instruments. While there are some moments that have a tendency to sound similar, there’s no doubting the execution of the material. Fans of Amon Amarth, Mithotyn (duh), or Unleashed will definitely enjoy this one.