Review: Fortid – 9

Posted: April 8, 2015 in Band of the Day, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

Fortid are Icelandic pagan black metallers with a serious idea about dynamics. Their fifth album, entitled ‘9’ is now out on Schwarzdorn Productions and is definitely worth checking out.

Opening track ‘Haufnir’ is a perfect example of how Fortid have got their dynamic range nailed. Ranging from raging, full on black metal violence through softer, emotive passages and almost Neurosian post metal atmospherics, underpinned by a thundering double kick, ‘Haufnir’ is a beautiful piece of modern extreme music. Following the more folk metal ‘Hugur’ and the crushing blitzkrieg of ‘Nornir’, comes the epic ‘Viska’. This is where Fortid go a little bit Emperor to great effect. The sound is vast, melodic but still dark. Fitting in some ethereal chants, a swelling tribal drumbeat with some soaring vocals, Fortid pull some neat tricks out of their bag here, and ‘Viska’ is the amalgamation of their strengths.

‘9’ contains some breathtakingly beautiful moments of pagan inspired black metal. Songs lose nothing of their intensity when the buzzing riffs are replaced by soaring melodies. ‘Leit’ is almost a straightforward version of latter period Enslaved, while the title track pulses with progressive moments, clouds encircling a mountain of metal. ‘Galdur’ entices with frosty melodies, again oozing with Enslavedisms. This is a good thing; Enslaved have always been vastly underpillaged when it comes to black metal copycats! Fortid pay homage, but keep enough of their own identity to avoid accusations of plagiarism.

Closing the album with the sublime double punch of ‘Runir’ and ‘Hof’, Fortid have crafted a simply great record. The songs are all good, well written and executed with tons of variety and style for a band labelled simply as ‘pagan black metal’. There’s so much more to Fortid than that, and you’d be a fool not to check them out.



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