On July 20th 2014, Concreteweb posted the review of the new Feskarn-album, Östra Aros. Since Pesttanz Klangschmiede did send us the debut album Raise Your Swords as well, I will give a (small) review too on this material.
Feskarn, as you could read on the other review, were formed in 2010 by Uppsala-born guy Niklas Nilsson. The first album he recorded was Raise Your Swords, which was originally release in November 2012. Niklas wrote, composed and recorded this album, this time completely done in the English language (the second one also contained pieces of lyrical stuff in Swedish). It brought / brings a non-original form of Pagan / Viking / Folk / Heathen / Black / Symphonic / Death / Thrash Metal with a focus on melody rather and energy. The whole sounds very atmospheric and little bombastic; the latter mainly caused by the epic synth leads. There are lots of folksy influences, taken from both the used instruments (with mouth-harp or acoustic guitars) as well as the rhythmic melodic structures from time to time (mind the Humppa-alike excerpts). The keyboards, by the way, are sometimes the Tolkienish way, i.e. that elements from Valar / Finnugor, Rivendell, Summoning or Dagorlad appear. But they also fulfil other models, like the atmospheric, neo-gothic or just supportive way.
A surplus is the variation in between the tracks (the style-oriented diversification, with some faster, more aggressive pieces, while others are more Epic-Death or Goth-Black-directed; etc.) as well as within each piece (with different tempo-changes or well-written melody-transactions). And still there’s lot of cohesion, due to a recognizable sound Feskarn are able to create.
The main difference in between this album and Östra Aros is the catchiness. The new album comes with a very clean sound, while the one from Raise Your Swords is less polished and slightly rougher, edgier. The tracks on this 2012-release itself, or at least most of them, are on a par of a more natural, organic and intensified breed. And the average quality is slightly better; it’s that simple… This item, the organic performance and the more oleaginous production, make Raise Your Swords a better release than its successor.