CD Review: Gungnir - Ragnarök (Viking Metal, 2018)

It's time to go into the brutal direction. But this band sneaks in lot's of fine tuned elements that you  normally wouldn't expect of such a release that has been heavily inspired by the classic Bathory albums.

The cover of Gungnir's debut EP "Ragnarök", (c) by Gungnir, used with kind permission

Gungnir were formed by Yngve (Flames, Deviser, ex-W.E.B.), along with long-time friend and bandmate in other projects Jim havok (Chained And Desperate), on October 2016. Inspired by Bathory's legacy they created a band with the sole purpose of reviving ancient sagas and myths, found in the Norse mythology and the Eddas.

After taking all of 2017 slowly composing and recording, they recruited Ithonas from the Hellenic black metal band Dizziness to handle the vocals for the EP. Zel from the mighty Ancient also appeared as a guest vocalist for the cover in Bathory's "Enter the Eternal Fire" cover.

The soundshell is held in the absolute classic direction. This means it's pure and direct in-your-face metal all the way. The band doesn't fiddle around too much with setting up but lay's it down heavy and raw.

Anyway while listening to the EP and banging to the rough notes you'll spot little but important changes in the sound taking you away from the dominating songwriting freshing up the sound. It's those moments that you'll open your ears and wonder what's going onthere. It's the unusual use of rhythm and/or guitars that come in at points where you wouldn't expect them.

For instance there is the track "The Wanderer". The drums go a disctinctivly different direction. First I wondered a lot how that should fit to the direction chosen. But similar to the vocals they are more versatile not only brutal. A bit of battle glory feelings and a bit of the noise of the battlefield can be imagined this way.

"Fenrir" is wrapped in a more compact soundcase. I helps to keep the agression level up. The vocals are fat in here. Again a nice contrast to the other tunes.

Preview-Track-Stream and Purchase-Link
As a quick introduction I recommend to go with the track "Fenrir".

Please take this as a recommendation to pick up a physical copy - you'll be rewarded a cover of Bathory's "Enter the Eternal Fire" as bonus material. A picture of the tape on Facebook already looks tasting with it's white styled sleeve and the white-housed tape inside.

The CD will be released through Metal Throne Productions (limited to 500) and the tape will be spread by Mercyful Hell Prods (limited to 150). While typing this the physical edition of both CD and tape are sold out from the band directly but can still get them from the labels. Meanwhile the digital version of the EP is still available from Bandcamp.

Keep in touch with the band through Bandcamp or Facebook or even Google Plus.

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