SKÁLD: Viking Memories – Album Review

October 29, 2020 — Despite its prevalence in contemporary popular culture, the influence of Norse tradition and mythology remains largely centralized to the Scandinavian peninsular, Iceland, and parts of the USA (if they squint hard enough at a family tree to find a drop of Viking-associated heritage). The massive scope of Viking explorers throughout history goes some way to explaining why the culture captures the imagination so vividly.

Which brings us to SKÁLD, an oddity within the folk metal-adjacent scene, due to their French origin, but nonetheless a band committed to producing luscious, wonderful sounds that champion traditional Norse culture.

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‘Assassins Creed Valhalla: The Ravens Saga’ — Soundtrack Review

October 9, 2020 — From its very beginning back in 2007, Assassins Creed has served as a vehicle for historical and cultural immersion and Ubisoft has been committed to creating works bursting with both entertainment and educational value. From the Middle East during the time of the Third Crusade to Italy at the height of the Renaissance, Assassins Creed has not shied away from some of history’s most fascinating periods and events, providing each game with a sense of authenticity so strong one of the games was mooted as a model to assist in the rebuilding of Notre Dame following the 2019 fire. Read More »

Hulkoff’s ‘Pansarfolk’ is Frenetic Folk Metal Brilliance

October 6, 2020 — Back in 2017, Swedish composer and metal extraordinaire Pär Hulkoff embarked on his first solo musical odyssey. Worlds away from the staccato-industrial metal stylings of Raubtier (a highly successful band he created in 2008 and has fronted ever since) and the sunshine-and-Western-soaked vibes of his country music project Bourbon Boys, Hulkoff inhabited the rather fertile sonic landscape between the worlds of power and folk metal. Now, he’s back with album #2, Pansarfolk, (quite literally) doubling down on both the rich Norse mythology and history that colors the lyrical content of the project, but also the folk instrumentation deployed throughout the record.

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The Rise of Mongolian Folk Music: Star Wars, Horror, and a Venetian Explorer

October 2, 2020 — It’s difficult not to get caught up in the distinct, raspy vocals and catchy guitar riffs of Mongolian folk rock. So, why is it that I’m only now learning about The HU, a self-described heavy metal Mongolian folk band that does things to my ears that few English-speaking musicians do? The HU is a relatively new addition to the music scene, having found popularity in 2018 with the posting of two music videos – “Wolf Totem” and “Yuve Yuve Yu.” However, within the past 365 days, the band has found itself glistening in the spotlight.

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