Svartsot - Mulmets Viser
Napalm Records
Folk/Viking metal
12 songs (50'39")
Release year: 2010
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Alex

Imagine a Norsemen village, where everyone writes and performs music according to their own character traits

. There is this burly fellow who takes his warrior pride and heritage seriously, thinking about plunder and women he can have in the upcoming raid on an unsuspected Christian land. His name is Amon Amarth. Then there is this quirky fellow who started out as somewhat of a buffoon, but he had been shifting in the bizarre and carnivalesque mood as of late. Finntroll fits that description. The one particularly fixated on the swampy and forested part of Scandinavia called Finland, who also can’t part with his accordion, would be Korpiklaani. And then there is this crude uncouth jovial hoodlum, who borrowed a little from everybody and does not seem to take himself seriously, he also gets in on the act of putting out some folk metal tunes. Most know him as Svartsot.

Not the one to seek intricacy in songwriting, Svartsot relies on a few notes of melody in every song, often tin-whistling his way through when it gets to the aforementioned notes (Æthelred, Havfruens Kvæd, Laster og Tarv, Jagten, I Salens varme Glød). From there, these simplistic pieces of music are dressed onto averagely constructed riffs and reasonable drumming often coming in a form of double bass kicks. Svartsot does drop in on a neighbor or two to borrow a mandolin (Kromandens Datter) or flute, but his unsophisticated folk metal is still hardly captivating. The narrative to these exploits are supplied with a muffled deathly, but no emotional enough, grunt (courtesy of Thor Bager), which is pushed into the back of the mix somewhat.

I am missing a set of liner notes, which the Danes supposedly enclose with their albums to explain those in poor command of Danish language what it is they are trying to depict with their music. In the absence of these profound explanations, it is actually fun to try and “match” the mood of the song with the lyrics translation you might research out later. In this light Lokkevisen is bouncy and dance-like, Højen på glødende Pæle and På Odden af hans hedenske Sværd breathe courage, Den svarte Sot is a slower melancholic tune reminiscent of early Insomnium, Jagten holds no punches in hitting it home and Lindisfarne calls all those present in the hall to rejoice with the horn full of mead. Whether I was wrong or right, those with more interest in Svartsot escapades can surely comment after getting the full package. Meanwhile, those marches Amon Amarth manages to make so catchy on its own journeys sound more light-weight and flippant in the hands of the Svartsot little brother who was left behind in the rear guard (På Odden af hans hedenske Sværd), despite all those lead guitar similarities.

One-note, humorous or not, there are enough tunes on Mulmets Viser I enjoyed. A short kicker Grendel, masculine Havfruens Kvæd and hard-hitting Jagten left a mark. Perhaps I am a bit unfair to the Danes, but their music will be most enjoyable live, and with the godly amount of booze ingested beforehand. Otherwise, Mulmets Viser is one of those albums you seem to take pleasure in while they are playing, yet there is little memories left of them after they are through. Besides, twelve pretty similar songs lasting over 50 minutes is a tad too long.

Cris Frederiksen is the only member of Svartsot remaining from the now three-year old debut Ravnenes Saga, other members quitting due to difference of opinion on the direction of the band. Me not familiar with Ravnenes Saga, I am unencumbered with the comparisons, calling Mulmets Viser how I see it, a short-lasting shallow fun.

Killing Songs :
Lokkevisen, Havfruens Kvæd, På Odden af hans hedenske Sværd, Grendel, Jagten
Alex quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Svartsot that we have reviewed:
Svartsot - Ravnenes Saga reviewed by Kayla and quoted 88 / 100
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