9. Höndin sem veggina klórar
Proud purveyors of their own uniquely stirring strain of Viking metal, Skalmöld have long taken their own, circuitous route towards the expected sonic and lyrical tenets of this ill-defined subgenre.
As with their previous four albums, Sorgir is a bombastic and knowingly overblown paean to Iceland’s mysterious past; full of Maiden-esque guitar harmonies, rousing choirs and urgent, incisive riffs that owe as much to mid-tempo thrash as they do to anything more arcane.
But even at its most traditional (see Barnið’s none-more-classic mid-section for details!) Sorgir crackles with its creators’ finely honed identity. Whether in full-on longboat assault mode on the marauding, mid-paced Lsjósið or exploring more expansive dynamics on closing tour-de-force Mara, the power of the message and the sincerity of the messengers carries every stirring ensemble splurge forward to Valhalla with maximum uplift.
For Fans Of: Einherjer, Tyr, Unleashed