Ereb Altor – Vargtimman


Time unmercifully ticks away and even if it almost feels like yesterday It’s been fourteen long years since Ereb Altor surprised me with their kind of brilliant debut album, an undoubtable homage to Bathory, ”By Honour”.

Bathory is one of my favourite bands but being of the opinion that main man Quorthon’s Viking Metal-era is almost as dorky as their/his Black Metal years are exquisite, I naturally was a bit suspicious regarding Ereb Altors, rumoured Viking-era Bathory whorship. Ereb Altor though showed my fears to be ungrounded, showing that the apprentice sometimes out master the tutor and I found myself liking Ereb Altor’s take on the often so goofy Viking Metal genre, and have since then followed them with quite some interest!

Now, eight albums later (Vargtimman being their ninth full length album), there obviously have been some progression and after Ereb Altor, more or less, left the total Bathory worship (only to return on the excellent Bathory cover album “Blot · Ilt · Taut”) after the two first albums they kind of found their own expression, now often drifting towards a far more Black Metal-oriented sound but always with one foot planted in the Doom/Viking style being their roots.

With their progression towards more extreme music in mind I actually expected their new release, ”Vargtimman”, to be a bit harder, but instead of traveling further into Black Metal-territory it turned out to be one of their most melodic albums up to date.

Starting off with some ultra-epic stuff in ”I have the Sky” followed by the, a bit more evil sounding title track and then the, yet again utterly epic ”Fenris”, Ereb Altor make sure that no fan of classic Ereb Altor will be left disappointed.

After that it’s time to pick up the pace with ”Rise of the Destroyer”, and by mixing some fast paced stuff into the slow and epic you almost get a ”Blood Fire Death”-feeling. After that it’s time to really put focus on the melodies with the very much Isole-sounding “Alvablot”, where ”Mats” a bit rougher vocals take a step back in favour of ”Ragnars” more clean and tidy voice. Although a really good song I found this to be a bit out of place, since it, as mentioned, sounds more as a tune suitable for ”Mats” and ”Ragnars” other band Isole.

Unfortunately, the real peak of the album, the sinister ”Den Dighra Döden” also contains a kind of boring intro but besides that the song is a real killer, efficiently building the dark atmosphere of death and despair of the black plague! Following are some more epic Doom worship of the Norse Gods in the concluding tracks ”Ner i Mörkret” and the majestic ”Heimdals Horn”.

All in all I think that ”Vargtimman” is a really good record and that no fan of Ereb Altor should be disappointed. I really like that, although most of the tracks are very epic, the playing time of the songs are kept at a moderate level, preventing you from getting bored. I would have liked it if some of the parts where a bit rougher though, especially the up-tempo track ”Rise of the Destroyer” that I would have loved being a bit more “Black Metal” than “Heavy Metal” that now is the case.

Anyway, I find the epicness of Ereb Altor to be most important and they still, with “Vargtimman” makes you want to go down to the shore line, greet the roaring ocean and rice your fist to the steel grey sky saluting the old Northen Gods, and by that I must say that Ereb Altor have succeeded, making another top notch Doom-/Viking-, although not so much Black-, Metal album!
Artist: Ereb Altor
Title: Vargtimman
Rating: 8/10
Label: Hammerheart Records
Playing time: 42:26
Date of release: 2022-01-14
Place of Orgin: Sweden
Standout track: Den Dighra Döden

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Ereb Altor – Vargtimman

January 29, 2022

“Vargtimman” makes you want to go down to the shore line, greet the roaring ocean and rice your fist to the steel grey sky saluting the old Northen Gods

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