The ambient intro of synthesizer with the sounds of winter winds blowing set a very cold and lonely atmospheric background leading into some well-crafted, Burzum-loving black metal. While this breaks no new ground it is refreshing in that it is pretty good at what it does. Galdr doesn't try to impress from a technical standpoint or in originality but in how it works at setting a mood. Even in the heat of summer this album would inspire visions of some forest in the middle of Siberia in the dead of night. A few complaints would be, first, that the production sounds a little...uneven? Something just seems off and "wavy", especially when listening to the cymbals. Like at the far side speakers of my system it sounds very strange, but the rest is nicely balanced. I don't know. Second, the keys are kinda cheap-sounding. They work here for the most part, but for future efforts I'd suggest in investing in higher-quality equipment if possible. They're also a tad high in the mix, as setting them lower would allow them to mesh more effectively with the rest of the music. Third, the songwriting needs work in closing out the songs. Futhark in particular is guilty of ending rather abruptly when I felt it could have been brought together at the end in a more satisfying way. I felt it ended too soon as well, and that there was potential for further development of that track alone. Into Unknown Mist also ends very abruptly, which I find odd. Too much fading out, not enough satisfying conclusion. Fourth, and last, there is a part or two where cymbal "tapping" interferes with more droning, hypnotic sections, which unfortunately detracts from the atmosphere. Galdr's full-length debut certainly doesn't overstay its welcome at an easily digestible half-hour length, which also means that there is no filler; every track is welcomed, even the ambient intro and outro tracks. The cold, bleak black metal actually features some "positive"-sounding melodies at times, especially enhanced by the keys, which I liked. It helps in setting Galdr apart from similar acts that attempt only to be as depressing as possible. If this style of music or even black metal doesn't already appeal to you then there isn't much reason to check it out, but if you're already a fan of Burzum-esque black metal done pretty well then it's definitely worth a meager thirty minutes of your time.
Galdr - Galdr posted by Corey, Saturday March 19, 2011 @ 02:46:03 PM