Friday, February 3, 2012

Viking Grab Bag

As I've dug through material for the current series of reviews I'm doing, I've unfortunately had to rule out a few bands I would like to talk about but can't for one reason or another.

Dark Forest: It seems sort of natural for a Viking metal band to come from Canada. After all, the Vikings did land in Canada well before any other European exploration of the continent, and Canada is sort of the Scandinavia of the Western Hemisphere. Still, you don't encounter many Viking metal groups from our neighbors to the north. Of the few you do find, Dark Forest is arguably the best. Next month, they are releasing their first album in six years. Unfortunately, it's not next month yet, so I've only been able to find some pre-release samplings of the new material. From those early tidbits I have high hopes for this to be one of the best new releases in Viking metal this year.

MJØD: I don't actually know anything about this Viking metal group except that they come from Wisconsin, and that they released their very first recording a scant 3 days ago. I haven't been able to find it yet, but I just thought it was cool that I ran across a group that soon after they emerged.

Space Vikings: The mere fact that they hail from Athens, GA would be enough to catch my attention. That's because the Ohio and Georgia Athenses have bit of a rivalry, not only being college towns that share a name, but also trading places back and forth atop the Princeton Review's annual "Top Party Schools" list. That aside, this is a fun band, and they released their debut EP last year. Imagine a bunch of Vikings had a feast and then took a drunken joyride through outer space, battling aliens as they went. If you're like me, you have one question: what are they playing on the stereo? Well, probably Ke$ha or something stupid like that because Vikings don't know anything about good music, but they SHOULD be listening to this. I excluded them, however, because they are really much more of a melodic death metal band than a Viking metal band. I've already talked about one band that was misclassified, and I didn't want to do too many of those.

So there you have them. Three bands I wanted to talk about, but which I couldn't fit into the framework of my recent set of reviews.

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