SVARTSOT  are a Danish band that play Folk Metal. They have been around for a […]
By Metal Wim
March 20, 2022
Svartsot - Kumbl album cover

SVARTSOT  are a Danish band that play Folk Metal. They have been around for a while and have become more and more successful over the years. As far as Folk Metal goes, SVARTSOT doesn't go for the throat like AMON AMARTH does, no, they like to mix the really heavy stuff with a lot of folklore. The many different voices that Thor Bager uses only add to the diversity of the music.

As you can read SVARTSOT doesn't have a traditional line-up. Like so many Folk Metal bands they have added instruments that have been used for ages in traditional folk music. That is no guarantee for success, but on "Kumbl" everything is right on the money. This time these guys have been able to give every instrument and player the window they need to shine. However, what pleases me most is that the flutes used now are blending into the music properly, whilst in the beginning they sounded more like an unfortunate afterthought. This makes SVARTSOT sound so much more mature, balanced and dare I say sophisticated.

"Kumbl" (an old Danish word meaning 'monument' or 'memorial') is their fifth album, and it presents a mixture of some relatively unknown and other more popular folk and late medieval songs from Denmark and across Northern Europe. Just to show what these guys sing about; "Liden Kirsten" is a traditional Danish folk ballad telling the tale of how a king decided to make the lady of his desires the mother of his children and his queen without telling her first. "Carmen Vernale" is a song from around 1500, written by the cantor at Aarhus Cathedral, praising the arrival of spring and performed in the original Latin . "Drømte Mig En Drøm" is an elaboration on the oldest recorded Danish song, being handed down to us in a runic manuscript from around 1300.

This is why SVARTSOT have that little bit of an edge over many others; they research what they will sing about and how it will fit into the appropriate music. And that's' quite a feat. I do have some criticism though, which is that after a while I get the feeling that the songs are just that bit too similar. The diversity you'd expect and appreciate within the Folk Metal just isn't as widespread as I would have hoped. But this is just a minor flaw, because "Kumbl" still is an album to enjoy. With some more expressed variations I would have said you could treasure this album.

7 / 10









"Kumbl" Track-listing:

1. Den Hoboeken Dans
2. Nu Stander Landen I Våde
3. Carmen Vernale
4. Ebbe Skammelsøn
5. Kragevisen
6. Villemand
7. Liden Kirsten
8. Rottefængeren
9. Den Store Stygge Stimand
10. Drømte Mig En Drøm
11. Ramund
12. De To Ravne

Svartsot Lineup:

Simon Buje - Bass
Frederik Uglebjerg - Drums
Michael Alm - Rhythm Guitars
Cris J.S. Frederiksen - Lead Guitars, Acoustic Guitars (studio), Mandolin (studio)
Hans-Jørgen Martinus Vork Rosenwein - Tin Whistles, Electric Bagpipe, Mandolin (live)
Thor Bager - Vocals, Mandolin (studio)

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