Fortíð - World Serpent review


23 users:
Band: Fortíð
Album: World Serpent
Release date: December 2020

01. AI 2020
02. The True Awakening
03. Controlled Patterned Mental Process
04. Insignificant Is The Wormking's Throne
05. Suppressed Opposition
06. Son Of A Barren Land
07. Pandemic
08. Beyond The Grips Of Odium
09. Perfect Annihilation
10. Last Line Of Defence

It's my birthday. You have to listen to what I review.

In a way, this is two albums in one. Or... two EPs in one, I guess. A "duology". It'll make sense.

Fortíð is mainly the band of Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson, who has been the sole member of the band (with some help from session musicians) before 2009. You may know Einar because he is the other half of Katla., the other half being Gummi (ex-Sólstafir). But Einar's bio goes beyond that, having worked with Gummi in Potentiam, but also with Curse and Thule, being involved in the Icelandic scene from as far back as 1995. But a huge chunk of his life Einar lived in Norway, and that's where Fortíð became a full band. However Einar did since move back to Iceland, dissolving the Norwegian lineup and being joined by Kristján Gudmundsson on drums, who has also been involved in a huge number of Icelandic bands, from Potentiam to Kontinuum to Myrk to Momentum, and he actually performed the drums on Fortíð's 2003 album debut. So it went full circle.

So, as I was saying, this is two albums in one. The first half of the album is done with the Norwegian lineup. The second half of the album is done as a duo. And it's not just that they're two different lineups, the sounds of the albums are quite different too. The first half has a lot of influence from Bay Area thrash metal, it being almost a bigger part of their sound than the usual viking black metal, but the two merge pretty well. Usually when I heard black and thrash mixed lately it's been more of a Venom/Sodom-like type of dirty fast madness instead of the more technical and melodic sides of both genres that are explored here. It's not like Einar hasn't done dirty fast madness, but hearing Megadeth and Testament-like thrash alongside early Enslaved-like melodic black isn't something you hear every day.

The second half is also a bit of a wild card, even if it's closer to what one can expect from Fortíð. Clean vocals become more prominent, as the guitars turn more pensive and atmospheric, especially on "Son Of A Barren Land". Even though the thrash metal side disappearing in this half isn't much of a surprise, a lot of the "epic" viking part of the sound is also gone. There is some crossover, with first half's "Insignificant Is The Wormking's Throne" being most in line with the second half, and the second half's "Pandemic" being most in line with the first half. Partly due to that and also due to the production, the album thankfully sounds pretty cohesive, despite the halving. Whether backed up by a band, or performing everything but the drums himself, Einar can hold his own as a purveyor of black metal riffs and atmospheres.

So if you're looking for more Icelandic black metal but you're tired of the new wave or of everything being overly viking, this is for you.


Written on 13.12.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 78 users
14.12.2020 - 00:45
Happy birthday ! That's a nice review, gonna check this one out, never really listened to Icelandic stuff
14.12.2020 - 17:14
Happy birthday! I am a big fan of the Icelandic scene, also of the Deathspell clones you were critical about in your interview with Gummi. I have only listened to this Fortid album once, but I already got some good vibes from it. Makes total sense that it is released on Prophecy too imo.
15.12.2020 - 03:20
I've seen this band name but never given them a shot, and now I am. I'm enjoying what I hear!

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