KAMPFAR dates back to 1994, when vocalist Dolk left MOCK. He recruited a guitarist Thomas, and set about his new musical vision. The first sign of life was the MCD “Kampfar”, followed by their full-length debut “Mellom Skogklaedde Aaser” in 1997. Black metal and folk was mixed according to the band members interests. 1999 saw two more releases, again an MCD and a full CD. The band seemed lost afterwards, but returned in 2003, when the band resurfaced with new members; bass player Jon and drummer Ask. The result was, among other things, the band´s live debut at a Norwegian festival. In 2005 came another album, “Kvass”. Founder member Thomas has since left leaving them without a guitarist, but with more unity it seems. Here is their latest and presumably masterful opus…or?
The opening title track is one out of three clear highlights. The sound is very good for ablack metal band, courtesy of Peter Tägtgren at Abyss Studio. The refrain makes sense and they may be quite traditional but they can still make an impact. The other highlights are “Huldreland” and “Bergtatt”. Both can be seen as slight steps away from standard black metal from Norway. The first feels more metal than black, the vocals sound bad but the spoken parts lift the song. The second has affine arrangement with some atmospheric keys and somewhat better vocals paired with the best melody of all tracks on offer. But the ok and slight pluses fill my notes. There is a lot of intensity, good sound and various growling, but not enough to stand out in a crowded genre. They may provide touches of ATOMIC ROOSTER in “Blitzwitch”, but without more variation that is as good as it gets.