Genre : Symphonic Pagan Metal
Website : http://www.nothgard.de/
Location : Germany
Release title : Warhorns Of Midgard
Release type : Full-length CD
Release year : 2011
Label : Black Bards Entertainment
Buy : http://www.nothgard-shop.de/
1. Lex Talionis
3. Under the serpent sign
5. Shadows Arise
6. Blackened Sky
8. Warhorns of Midgard
10. Ancient Heritage/Modern Warriors
11. Rise after falling
An album which had me absolutely speechless, there is so much going on here musically, and at such a frenetic pace, I realized it merited serious analyzation. Blending Folk Metal stylings coupled with Symphonic melodic enhancement, Nothgard draw upon traditional, Thrash, Death, and Progressive Metal. The arrangements are complex, the playing at shred level, and the music develops unrelentingly to soaring heights of Viking Cro-Mag grandeur. Despite the density of the arrangements, Nothgard retain cohesive songwriting with engaging lyrical development, taking you on a journey through Pagan vastlands, mountain paths, imposing forests, primordial caves, and a fight for survival against the trolls!
Epic and yet harkening back to a primitive epoch, Nothgard however do not forget the element of fun and can kick ass as effectively as they can boggle the mind with their complex arrangements and serious musical abilities. "Spirit"'s proclamation of "...In a circle Of Friends, And Party Till Niiiiiiight!" resoundingly makes its mark...The breakneck Thrash still manages to be extremely catchy, a headbanging fest of epic party proportions. The entire album is complemented brilliantly with expansive production values, working beautifully with the well-developed sounds of each musician. One of the best guitar sounds I've heard in many a year, it's one of those guitar sounds that is both equally deep as it is well-balanced by mids and highs. Kind of like the Andy Larocque B.C. Rich sound but even fuller! Backed by thunderous, slamming drums and bass, the result is a full-on Metallic onslaught with an invincible dose of class. Tasteful musical aesthetics indeed, the keyboards and Folk melodies direct the music to its lofty, yet direct, compositional goal.
Bringing the epic Fantasy element to a head, "Shadows Arise" is marked by a narrative of a wise old veteran of Pagan battles ("...Pain, Death, And Mortal Agony!"), setting the scene in mystical Midgard style. You can easily visualize the winding journey around a narrow mountain path, to seek out the hideous troll-ish enemy in their near-inaccessible cavern, as in the film The 13th Warrior (that's one of my all-time favourite flicks so it works for me!). If it reminds me of that movie, I can be certain that Nothgard is on to something good. The band certainly has little to no limitations, creating modern, cutting-edge guitar and production techniques as much as honouring the spirit of Metal music and drawing upon Folk and Classical.
I certainly see no reason why Nothgard will not be huge in Europe and across the globe. I have a sneaking suspicion that this album will be played for years to come, by intensive listeners and beer-swilling Metal partyers alike! It certainly was in Black Bards Entertainment's best interests to sign this band and I hope they promote the fuck out of them. The return on their investment will likely be enormous. Nothgard have truly struck the balance between music with substance and high-octane headbanging value. I am incredibly impressed with "Warhorns Of Midgard", absolutely blown away in fact. I relish the wealth to be gained by many repeat listenings!
- Vile Ent