Formed from the ashes of Mithotyn, KoA rose with their excellent debut “Fi’mbulvintr” which unashamedly forged epic viking metal into incredibly powerful Nordic melodies. Despite this, the band remained relatively low key as they continued to consolidate their line up, incorporating Lars Tängmark in as second guitarist, as well as playing a few live gigs. As such, “…To North” was highly awaited by myself and listening to the likes of ‘The Nine Worlds Burn’ and ‘Up On The Mountain’ it’s even more majestic in its Nordic rhythms and definitely more brutal with now almost blackish riffing. But where are those power melodies!? Only ‘Gap Of Ginnungs’ comes close to the likes of ‘Einhärjar’ from that classic first album, and to me this was the defining sound of KoA, essentially setting them apart from the rest of the Viking hordes. As such, “…To North” is still an excellent album in the Viking metal genre, but please Karl, bring back those epic melodies for the next one!
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