Månegarm: Nattväsen

By Jonathan Smith

Swedish metallers Månegarm have returned with Nattväsen, their sixth full-length album. While the record is unlikely to transcend its own sub-genre confines, as a slab of pagan metal it’s a serious and entertaining effort. As an example of the band’s combination of viking/black/folk metal sounds, Nattväsen (night creatures) successfully invokes great halls, long ships, and battles against foes both natural and supernatural. If you’re in the mood for this, look no further this fall. Opening track “Mina Fäders Hall” gets things off on the right foot with a rousing vocal hurrah before the band bursts out on to the stage (or so one can easily imagine). One of the strongest elements of Månegarm’s repertoire is their singing in Swedish. For the listener who can’t understand what is being said, it’s much easier to imagine the mythological and historical world that vocalist Erik Grawsiö invokes. Though some energy is lost while journeying through the middle of the album, the title track is a revitalizing climax before the more subdued “Delling” that closes the album. In the end, this collection of night creatures might just encourage you to toss back a pint and go racing into the neighboring hills with sword in hand — at least until you get arrested for disturbing the peace.

(Regain Records)


Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.