Monday, January 13, 2014

Metal on the Side Mondays: Svartsot

Do you like folk metal? Do you like beer? Do you like songs about the plague?... If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you'll like Svartsot.

Svartsot is a folk metal band from Denmark known for their delightful tin whistling and brutal vocals. They differ from similar bands in the sense that they're a little less folky. Their songs have more of a metal base and the folk instruments usually compliment the guitars instead of the other way around. It's not uncommon for a Svartsot song to contain large sections with almost no folk elements, but on the flipside they have many songs with all sorts of crazy stuff you'll only find in this genre. I also find they play a bit slower and more methodical than other folk metal bands. It gives the band a more brutal sound that stands out from everyone else.

The name Svartsot may translate to "black sickness", but don't get them confused as guys who don't like to have fun. Sure, many of their songs are about sickness and death, especially their most recent album Maledictus Eris (You will be cursed) but they also have songs about noble warriors and drinking. I'm sure glad their official site has translated lyrics, because absolutely everything from this band is in Danish! I would have had no idea otherwise.. Anyway, if you ever need any proof that these guys just like to joke around, or that they have magnificent beards, take a look at their official Facebook page. You'll find such gems as this one from Christmas:
As modern yuletide legend would have it, on the night of the 24th December, a jolly fat man with a large beard gains clandestine entry to your home, drinks your brandy, eats your pies and just the thought of his visit delights your children. However, when Hans-Jørgen tries that he just gets into really serious trouble. There's some major double fucking standards round this time of year!
The one thing about Svartsot is that they can't seem to maintain a solid lineup for more than a couple years. The band has only been around since 2005 but their only remaining founding member is Cris Frederiksen who also happens to be the main composer of the band. The ex-members list has nine names on it! Hopefully the current lineup will be stable.

Get used to these bastards
Svartsot may be a small band (in terms of audience size, of course) but they seem like they're picking up steam. They've appeared as the number one band from Denmark on countless lists and their album releases are taking on a more regular schedule. Maledictus Eris was released in 2011 and the band recently entered the studio again to record their upcoming fourth album. I just hope that after it's released they'll have enough resources to make a trip to North America since I don't think they've ever been here before. A new album and some more exposure is exactly what this band needs.

Here's some links for Svartsot:

-Zombie Viking

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