With folk elements thinly detailed in a very skilled and technical proficiency that eludes harmonies in a very intricate layer of sounds, but nevertheless sounding fresh, clean and objectively fast, this record is really an impressive and daring milestone for the underground metal scenario. Daring, unbound and unrestrained, without any fears of innovation, and having unprecedented traces of peculiarities, Månegarm also introduces instruments and sounds that at first can appear “alien” to a metal background. Nonetheless, their perfect introduction of local folklore into heavier and sidelined harmonies sounds instinctively enthusiastic, furious and joyful, and engraves their distinctively Nordic identity. Powerful vocals and rhythmical guitar lines have also a notorious responsibility in building and holding the structure of the songs as well, giving the album it’s subjective, artistic and unusual primacy. Delicate and smooth melodies are incisively protuberating and distinctive as well, easily shaping and maintaining into the music an ambience of comradeship, optimism and sentimentality, that hails the monumental glory of epic battles that dwells within the shadows of its own derogatory disillusions.
Sometimes reminding a little their distant Finnish cousins – Amorphis – Månegarm is skilled in aligning and combining the most heavier aspects of metal music with more detailed, soft and delicate melodies, creating a genre difficult to categorize, but creatively expansive, and awesomely fun to listen. Setting no limits for their capabilities, and picking up almost each and every element they find interesting for a song, Månegarm creates unusual tracks, and gives to their music well defined characteristics, that certainly could be regarded as folk metal, with daring experimental sound nuances and contrasts.
With some power and symphonic metal elements – although introduced very subtlety in some of their songs –, Månegarm has given us an outstanding album, that deserves all the proper recognitions. Although sometimes you can get a little bored by their sometimes excessive insertions of local color into their music, it becomes impossible not to admire the album as a whole, in the end of it all. So much technical proficiency, aligned with a purely passionate and free enthusiasm, which transpires in each and every one of these tracks, makes you crave for more of this exciting masterpiece. Of course, being them metal veterans, as well as serious, talented and dedicated musicians, it is no surprise at all that, together, they’re able to create such a groundbreaking and original album. Profoundly coherent in their differentiated and resounding musical proposition, certainly Månegarm is a pride motive in their native Sweden, as well as for the international metal community.
Certainly demanding a very skilled and intuitive talent to perfectly reconcile and arrange so many different elements into their music, Månegarm inserts poetic, melancholic, epic, melodic, harmonious and aggressive elements into their sound, creating defined moments of unbelievable beauty – in the soft as well as in the furious parts of their music – that enables them to maintain a distinctive, cohesive and solid identity, while sounding extremely eclectic at the same time.
With an outlook of unpredictable, but definitive glorious artistry, Månegarm achieves what most bands cannot achieve in a lifetime: being them, whatever and whenever they want. Doesn’t matter what they play, Månegarm will always sound as Månegarm, doesn’t matter the circumstances. Creating a distinctively Nordic, epic and folk style of metal, you can certainly hear the eponymous Månegarm album, without regret. You will certainly love it. It will surprise you minute after minute, song after song. This great warriors of metal deserve your attention, and you will get addicted to this album, as soon as you listen to it. It is an amazing musical journey: your musical boundaries will be astoundingly different, changing dramatically, as soon as you have listened to this beautiful, resounding and poetic masterpiece.