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REVIEW: Storm - Nordavind Moonfog Productions, 1995
Storm - Nordavind - cover art This album is Storm's only full-length work and, unfortunately, the last one, for the band split up after its release. Moreover, we should not even consider this a real band, but a parallel project of 3 very prestigious musicians: Storm was created by Sigurd Wongraven, aka Satyr (Satyricon, Wongraven, owner of Moonfog record label, etc), soon to be joined by Herr Nagel, aka Fenriz (Darkthrone, Isengard, Neptune Towers, etc). Finally, Kari Rueslåtten (The Third and the Mortal) was added to the line-up. Fenriz would play the drums, and Satyr the rest of instruments (guitars, bass and keyboards). The vocals would be performed by the 3 members.

From the musical point of view, the album could be considered Folk Metal, though no folk instruments are employed throughout the whole recording. Nevertheless they are sometimes (not quite frequently) imitated with keyboards. The album can be described as "a journey through the forests, meadows and Mountains of Norway". The title means "North wind" and in the cover you can see the snowy peak of a beautiful mountain. Once you open the cd you read the message "Norwegian National romantic Music", and the picture printed in the cd is the Norwegian national flag. I'd like to comment on those non-musical aspects, especially in cases like this one, for they contribute to introduce the listener to the world portrayed by the music.

To begin with the analysis of the music, we could say that it keeps many similarities with Isengard's most Folk-ish songs (Isengard is another parallel project of Fenriz), but the production in Storm is quite more clear, completely professional, in contrast with Isengard's demo sound.

If I am not wrong, all the songs are covers of traditional Norwegian folk songs, and consequently the titles and lyrics are in Norwegian language. As I have said, this is a Folk metal album, moreover, we could expand the tag to "Viking-folk", according both to the lyrical concept and to the vocal style itself: There are no harsh black metal-ish vocals here, but clean operatic masculine voices accompanied by Kari's sweet singing.

All the songs in the album maintain a more than acceptable level. If I had to highlight any of them, I would mention "Nagellstev" (The Song of Nagell), a short song without music, just Fenriz alone singing a capella something that seems like some kind of Viking hymn. I am no expert in vocal techniques but I do appreciate the way he sings here. This short chant works as an introduction to the following song, "Oppi Fjellet" (Up in the Mountains), which is, in my opinion, the greatest hit of the album. It has a couple of simple but extremely epic riffs. The vocals are performed by Satyr, who combines at the same time a strong nationalistic attitude (as I have said, the whole cd is a tribute to Norway) with a noticable anti-Christian feeling. As a curiosity, Fenriz modified the traditional lyrics of the song and added some verses which pray "Hey! Can you see him? Can you see him? See that Christian bastard! Beat him up! Beat him up!«And if you ever smell Christian blood up in the mountains, then get your axe and chop them down!»" These "extreme lyrics" unleashed Kari's rage, for she accepted to join the project under the promise that there would not be this kind of lyrics. A personality too opposed to her male bandmates, two wellknown black metal musicians.

I would also like to talk about another couple of songs that go together in the album. "Lokk" (calling ) could be compared to Nagellstev, but in this case it is Kari who sings a capella. As in the former example, this works as an introduction to the following song, the last of the album (apart from the outro), "Noregsgard" (Home's Norway), the longest of the cd, and the most solemn and majestic as well. A calm and relaxing mid-tempo song, in which the masculine voices alternate with Kari's to offer us the perfect conclusion for this masterpiece.

This has been my first contribution to Tartarean Desire, that is the reason why I have chosen one of my favorite albums ever. I consider it one of the greatest pieces of its genre, along with Bathory's "Hammerheart" and some albums by Mythotyn and Thyrfing, although I would like to point out again that the music of the Storm is more folk oriented. Summarizing: One of the cornerstones of Viking Folk Metal.

written by Carlos Martin Cuevas

1. Innferd
2. Mellom Bakkar Og Berg
3. Håvard Hedde
4. Villemann
5. Nagellstev
6. Oppi Fjellet
7. Langt Borti Lia
8. Lokk
9. Noregsgard
10. Utferd

Playing time: 33.15

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