GLITTERTIND - Himmelfall

Glittertind - Himmelfall

10 songs
39:48 minutes
***** *


Only few people outside Norway may know that Glittertind is at 2.464 metres the second highest mountain in said country, with only 5 meagre metres lacking it to be higher than the Galdhoppigen mountain. So much about geography, and now onwards towards music. Glittertind is also a Norwegian band that started in 2001 as a one-man project that combined Viking and folk metal. Two albums later, Glittertind became a real band in 2010. This also engendered a musical change of direction. Folk is still a dominant part of the sound, but the metal components have been but back in favour of other genres like indie, progressive and even some clerical elements.

The bandís fifth album is called Himmelfall and deals with the propagation of Protestantism and the associated religious conflicts. The album has been deliberately released in 2017, exactly 500 years after Martin Luther started the Reformation with the publication of his 95 theses.

Himmelfall is a very atmospheric album, but its omnipresent equanimous sound may not appeal to the bandís initial metal fanbase. Olaf Engelbrektsson is a rather vigorous opener with progressive rock elements, and the festive Etter Stormen comes across quite spiritedly with its vivacious trumpet parts. The following Likvake is a very quiet pure folk song. Finst Ikkje Meir offers rousing swing music. The short title track is performed solely on church organ. Three quiet tracks ensue, before we get with Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott a traditional song from the era of Martin Luther. The final track is another church organ piece.

One must concede that Glittertind really did their very own thing on Himmelfall. Itís not the kind of album you listen to once to unlock all of its secrets. The bandís risk taking attitude demands a lot of devotion and patience from the listener. After several times through the album, I have found some genuine gems, but I would have preferred the entire album to be as jaunty as the first few tracks.

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