“Gleipnirs Smeder” by Jotunspor

Artist: Jotunspor
Title: “Gleipnirs Smeder”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 7/25/2006
Genre: Atmospheric/Ambient Noise/Black Metal
Rating: 3/5

The great thing about side projects from bands on the European side of the musical fence is that something interesting always seems to come from them no matter who is involved. Jotunspor is the combined efforts of two musicians who have in common the work done they’ve done with Black Metal juggernauts Gorgoroth. With Jotunspor we find a strong helping of primitive Black Metal with some atmospheric and ambient overtones that come courtesy of bassist King ov Hell and the bands former drummer Kvitfrafn. Together they deliver some truly dark music that harkens back to the early years of the genre as the tracks blaze past at lightning speed and use a number of different vocal techniques to add the proper emphasis to the music. It opens with the title track which I understand is translated into English as “blacksmiths of Gleipnir” and this is an excellent tune full of high speed drumming, epic vocals and solid guitar work. King handles guitars, bass and some vocals, while Kvitrafn does drums, guitars, effects and the main vocals. It’s an album of music that might come off strange based on the different experiments that the pair undertakes. For instance the second track “Svartalvheims Djup” is purely sound effects and reminds of some nightmarish walk down treacherous paths while “Solartjuven” has a slow and almost pulsing groove happening under the dual vocal growling.

The album is sung entirely in Norwegian and ancient Norse tongue so unless you are fluent in them don’t expect to know much more than the fact that the songs are written from the perspective of Norse cults and beliefs. I found it interesting as to how different it was from Gorgoroth material and King’s other band Sahg. Clearly he is a competent musician who can approach every situation with a unique vision. Kvitrafn does a great job as well by taking a lot of the established feels and rhythms of Black Metal and opting to take a number of chances with them to build up the atmosphere and level of drama that one feels as this CD plays through. This might be primarily for fans of Experimental Black Metal since there are numerous movements and changes offered up as opposed to a consistently throttling assault on the senses like most of the purer form of the genre. With “Gleipnir’s Smeder” the chance to try different things and see how it sounded seemed more important than sticking to the long established rules of the game. If you are a fan of these guys in their other bands then this is something that is worth checking out so you can see what else they bring to the Metal table – I am not too sure that any newcomers would appreciate or understand what is actually happening here but they are more than welcome to give it a shot.

Track Listing:
1. Gleipnirs Smeder
2. Svartalvheims Djup
3. Solartjuven
4. Freke Han Renn
5. Sol Mun Svartne
6. Ginnugagalder
7. Ildkrig

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/jotunspor

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