As soon as the first note of Seiðr blares, one perceives an influence from mainly Darkthrone and Mayhem. However, the opening riff of the album, “Fire”, certainly evokes the typically Swedish melodic approach. A Darkthronian influence becomes possibly even more evident in the second song, “Destruction of the Worlds”; but it is only a light shadow because Vindsval knows how to effectively vary the songs and contributes his good ideas. The album as a whole is fast paced, but there are also slower tempos, as in the afore mentioned “Destruction of the Worlds”, but also and especially in “Oblivion”, in which the riffing becomes more obscure and obsessive. I think Seiðr achieves its best moments in “Emperor”, with a rhythm slightly reminiscent of Bathory, and “Seiðr”, with its clean chords at the beginning. The production is very essential and studied in order to get a sound that projects the listener back to the first black metal era; you will not find particularly bright sounds, but not raw and dirty ones either; everything is well mixed and clear. But you will not find a great deal of originality either, the album does not really takes flight and remains cold.
The album title Seiðr, Old Norse word meaning ‘spell’, brings us back to the paganism of medieval Scandinavia. The pagan themes are evident from the first song “Fire”, and cover in particular the ancient runic shamanism and knowledge. The texts contain explicit references to the anti-cosmic doctrine, especially in “Destruction of the Worlds” and in the title track “Seiðr”, where Ragnarök, the universal conflagration in the Norse mythology, becomes a symbol of anti-cosmic chaos. The anti-cosmic doctrine, also known as Chaos-Gnosticism, has characterized over the years the ideology of part of the Swedish black metal, above all Dissection of the second era, and Watain. In the texts of Arckanum, Chaos-Gnosticism is connected to the Norse mythology; in this sense Vindsval of Mara is a kind of an epigone of Arckanum.
In short, Mara has potential but can do better. I would start from the artwork.
Seiðr has not been released yet and Mara is looking for a label. Vindsval has made a teaser to support the album; out of respect for his effort to find a label, no sample track will be attached this time, in order not to spread unpublished stuff against the will of the rights owner. The teaser has been included instead.
2: Destruction of the worlds
3: Winter hunger
4: Black sorcery
6: Pagan call
Vindsval: all instruments
Freddy Ortscheid: studio drummer
Text by Herjann