Ereb Altor – “Eldens Boning” MCD (Hammerheart Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed in 2003 by Isole members Crister ‘Mats’ Olsson and Daniel ‘Ragnar’ Bryntse, Ereb Altor are truly definitive of pagan metal, incorporating into their obviously Nordic inspired sound, epic, folk, black and doom metal elements over the course of 8 full length releases to become worthy successors to Primordial, Enslaved and not in the least, Bathory. On this 4-track mini album, they prove that even more through the diverse mix of songs, while presenting a common theme of intense passion throughout and delivered superbly by deeply committed performances! Opening with reverent warrior choirs and trance wailing on ‘The Twilight Ship’, the heavy riff and drum bombast begins the Viking groove to which overpowering lead melodies and beautiful soulful singing add their spirited touch into a huge Nordic atmosphere that leaves no doubt as to the purity of its paganism. In superb contrast is the ethereal ‘Fenrisulven’ with its gentle acoustics, somber violins and soft vocals eliciting another massive Nordic atmosphere – this time of calm – through its emotional depth in showing another dimension to this band’s talent. If its fire that you want, then the title track ‘Eldens Boning’ is nothing short of a berserker charge of stampeding double bass drumming, evil riffing mixed with spiralling melodies and a truly breath-taking vocal mix of black spat vocals, pagan shout outs, soulful singing and Valkyrie choirs that chunders and gallops with red blooded passion that will not leave your spirit untouched. Rocking like a longship in the waves, ‘Sacrifice’ is propelled by thick guitars sounding more Nordic passion as the vocal contrast of shimmering soulful highs against goblin drawls graced by a Valhalla choral touch adds even more drama to the already stormy atmosphere, bringing this magnificent release to a close in proving that Ereb Altor achieve more in 4 brilliant songs than what other bands fail to do in an entire album!