Surturs Lohe

SURTURS LOHE is a Viking/Folk/Black Metal band from Germany. "Wielandstahl" is the band's fifth full […]
By Alex Barnard
December 15, 2021
Surturs Lohe - Wielandstahl album cover

SURTURS LOHE is a Viking/Folk/Black Metal band from Germany. "Wielandstahl" is the band's fifth full length album, released by Einheit Produktionen on September 24, 2021.

Now, this is Folk Metal done properly! The band simultaneously takes elements from the instrumentation of "Bergtatt"-era ULVER, the storytelling of later period BATHORY, and the incredible riffs of DARKTHRONE. Heidenherz's voice is bone-chilling, and the riffs that he trades with Ragnfalt are all-at-once heavy and melodic. Ralf's bass grumbles and growls underneath every track, and Alraun's operatic vocals compliment the mix very nicely without distracting too much from the heaviness that's going on.

I am also very happy that this album seems to have more depth than a lot of Folk Metal out there today. Now, admittedly, I don't know a lot of Folk Metal, but to me, it's always seemed to be a kind of a parody of itself, like Pirate Metal. A lot of it is singing about demons and wenches and beer, the riffs are absolute garbage, and frankly, I've never really thought that it deserved to have its own micro genre. You're either going to have Folk Metal bands that are closer to Power Metal or Black Metal, which are distinct enough already that further classification is unnecessary. But I digress. I couldn't possibly tell you what they're singing about on this album since I don't speak German, but it feels like they're telling a story of some kind. Now if you ask me, storytelling is possibly the most important aspect of Folk Metal because pagan folklore has almost always been accompanied by music. Thus, whatever this album's story is, it's a damn sight more interesting than singing about a vampire over clichéd chord progressions and extraneous instrumentation.

Some highlights from this album include "Sohn von Glut und Stahl," which shows off Heidenherz's regular, haunting singing voice; the title track, with its multiple time signature changes and choir sections; "Nidungs Reich," which sounds like it could've been an extra from an ARCTURUS album; "Der lahmende Schmied," which has the best riff on the entire album; and "Kelche von Gold," the most unexpectedly rocking song on this record.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Certain moments felt a little unnecessary, like the little flute solos, but aside from that, this is a near perfect LP. I said it before and I'll say it again: this is Folk Metal done right.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








"Wielandstahl" Track-listing:

1. Sohn von Glut und Stahl
2. Mimes Reigen
3. Die Schwanenballade
4. Wielandstahl
5. Von albischer Hand
6. Nidungs Reich
7. Der lahmende Schmied
8. Kelche von Gold
9. Nur ein Vogel

Surturs Lohe Lineup:

Alraun - Vocals (female), flute
Ragnfalt - Guitars
Heidenherz - Guitars, Vocals (lead)
Ralf - Bass

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