Although it is now quite a while since SVARTSOT have released new material, the band is still very much alive and kicking. In the interim since 2015’s “Vældet”, the beer-soaked folk metallers have been active on the live scene in Denmark and abroad, including appearances at various major festivals as well as at the prestigious 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise in 2019. After a change of bassist and the decision to shelve an album’s worth of material in 2017/18, the idea of releasing a collection of traditional folk songs that have inspired the band, reworked in Svartsot’s characteristic style, was spawned.
The original idea was to release this fifth album, entitled “Kumbl” (an old Danish word meaning ‘monument’ or ‘memorial’), in 2020 to coincide with Svartsot’s 15th anniversary. However, due to various practicalities, the album was first recorded — by none other than the band’s drummer and up-and-coming producer, Frederik Uglebjerg (www.uglebjerg.com) — during the pandemic. The release also marks the band’s first collaboration with Danish metal label, Mighty Music.
“Kumbl” is out today in CD, LP (two different colours, each limited to 300 units) and digital formats via Mighty Music. Orders are available here.
1. Den Hoboeken Dans
2. Nu Stander Landen I Våde
3. Carmen Vernale
4. Ebbe Skammelsøn
7. Liden Kirsten
9. Den Store Stygge Stimand
10. Drømte Mig En Drøm
12. De To Ravne
“Kumbl” features 12 tracks that present a mixture of some relatively unknown and other more popular folk and late medieval songs from Denmark and across Northern Europe. Two songs feature guest vocal appearances by Andrea Uglebjerg, vocalist in the Danish punk band Situationsfornærmelse and sister of aforementioned Frederik. Three singles were released: “Liden Kirsten” is a traditional Danish folk ballad telling the tale of how a king decided to make the lady of his desires the mother of his children and his queen without telling her first; “Carmen Vernale” is a song from around 1500, written by Morten Børup, cantor at Aarhus Cathedral, praising the arrival of spring and performed in the original Latin — the melody is played each hour by the bells of Aarhus Townhall; “Drømte Mig En Drøm” is an elaboration on the oldest recorded Danish song, being handed down to us in a runic manuscript from ca. 1300. A music video will be released for “Liden Kirsten”, while a lyric video version of “Drømte Mig En Drøm” is also available.
“This is not a step in a bad direction, but an extremely successful form of experimentation” Metalized Magazine 9/10
“A special atmosphere that pseudo-Vikings like Amon Amarth could not build up in a thousand years” Zephyrs Odem 9/10
“This is more than just a great folk-metal album, it’s an epic history lesson!” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life 9/10
“It is undisputed that the six from Svartsot know their craft” Metal Factory 8,7
“Fascinatingly rustic, appealingly rich, versatile and exciting” FFM-Rock 8,5/10
“We have enjoyed this new album and are still busy putting tables and chairs back in the right place after our wild round dances” Musika 85/100
“Svartsot are one of the most influential and essential bands in this genre” Powerplay Magazine 8/10
“Don’t let yourself be misled by the semiacoustic instrumental parts – this material is intense” Rock Tribune 8/10
“A strong album in which they dive deep into their own heritage” Arrow Lords Of Metal 8/10
“Svartsot’s reimagined versions of the medieval melodies are very convincing” Rockfreaks.net 8/10
“Very entertaining album with many very interesting attributes, material that without a doubt must be listened to” Metallerium 8/10
“This is a really good rethink of some classic traditional folk and medieval tunes. It is upbeat and well imagined” Über Röck
In support of the album, Svartsot has been booked for a series of concerts across Denmark. Whilst only a few European shows are booked or planned at the moment, more will hopefully follow, if travel regulations permit.
Simon Buje: bass
Frederik Uglebjerg: drums
Michael Alm: rhythm guitars
Cris J.S. Frederiksen: lead guitars, acoustic guitars (studio), mandolin (studio)
Hans-Jørgen Martinus Vork Rosenwein: tin whistles, electric bagpipe, mandolin (live)
Thor Bager: vocals, mandolin (studio)