Glittertind – Djevelsvart by Lee Carter

Band Name: Glittertind
Album Name: Djevelsvart
Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Indie Recordings
Released: 2013

Buy Album: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Djevelsvart-Glittertind/dp/B00F2VHF50
Band Website: http://www.glittertind.net/
Glittertind - Djevelsvart

Band line-up:

Torbjørn Sandvik – Vocals, Guitar
Geirmund Simonsen – Guitar, Vocals, Synth, Programming
Stefan Theofilakis – Flutes, Vocals
Geir Holm – Drums
Bjørn Nordstoga – Bass
Olav Aasbø – Guitar

 

 

Track Listing:

1. Inngang
2. Djevelsvart
3. Sundriven
4. Sprekk For Sol
5. Kvilelaus
6. Trollbunden
7. Nymåne
8. Tåketanker
9. Stjerneslør
10. Utgang

Review:

GLITTERTIND’s fourth album marks their first with Indie Recordings (having moved on from Napalm Records) and continues the melding of folk to rock. If first impressions are the ones that stick, then there is a degree of fun to be had through the course of the record. The vibrancy of traditional folk music weaves through the metallic-rock wonderfully and adds fun, drama and pomp to proceedings, whilst there is just enough energetic riffs amidst a bombastic rhythm section to keep the more heavy-inclined clientele intrigued.

A concept album revolving around the dark sides of life, the album does carry a slight dark tone but is somewhat offset by the bounce the folk-element provides. Opener “Djevelsvart” jumps to life amid a raucous flurry of riffs and rhythm topped with a soaring flute melody – it begs to be played live and to be danced to. “Trollbunden” introduces a sense of circus cabaret with quirky staccato guitars punctuated beneath with plonking piano chords and Sandvik’s playful vocal delivery. This energetic cabaret only appears once, but serves as one of the most memorable moments of the record, especially amongst the album’s heavier tracks.

The energy is maintained throughout the record, but peppers it with ballad-like breathers. It is these tracks, notably “Kvilelaus” and “Nymåne” which paint a darker, more desolate picture – they’re slower, almost romantic (especially the near-waltzing “Kvilelaus”) and conjure something altogether sadder than the fun-filled rockier tracks. The finale to “Nymåne” carries a near-sinister feel before descending into a more delicate outro; a slightly odd mixture but one that carries a jarring quality that ties in brilliantly with the concept. In many ways, these are actually the best songs on the album.

The arrangement of the tracks here compliment one another greatly – it gives everything time to be digested and appreciated, whilst carrying the emotion and themes throughout. The production is solid with everything well-balanced; the flute sits nicely amongst the rockier songs and the softer tracks sound more delicate. It makes for a great listen, ultimately. That said, the generic track lengths (and simple song structures) may not be for everyone and also seems to put a limit on the “folk” aspect. With average song-lengths, there doesn’t seem enough time to really explore some more of the Nordic folk that laces its way through the record.

Nevertheless, it is a fine record. Formerly just a solo-project for Sandvik, GLITTERTIND has now morphed into a full-fledged band and there is a real unity to the songs they craft – each of the rockier songs is a fun-filled romp with an edge, whilst the softer pieces yearn and ache with an underlying sadness. There is a beauty in the simplicity on offer here, yet this may not be for everyone and the near equal-split of rock to ballad may be a turn off. Regardless, if a simple Nordic mix of folk and rock is your thing then treat yourself to this.

Review by Lee Carter
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