FFO: Menhir, Einherjer, Thyrfing, Voluspaa, Potentiam, Nyrst
After nearly half a decade of inactivity, Einar ‘Eldur’ Thorberg has returned to the fold as a very busy man. Not only has Thorberg been the driving force behind Katla this month, but also, he has somehow found time to team back up with his Potentiam bandmate Kristján Gudmundsson to write and release Fortíđ’s sixth studio album ‘World Serpent’.
‘World Serpent’ has been a long time coming but it has certainly been worth the wait because as always, Fortíđ deliver top quality goods. What the listener gets here is crushing black metal delivered in true Icelandic style. This is an album of snow and bone bitingly cold northern winds, but that’s ok, because Fortíđ have got your back, they sit the listener down by the fireside and tell you skalds, sagas that have been passed down from generation to generation. Unlike some of their previous albums which have focused almost entirely upon Norse mythology; ‘World Serpent’ only touches upon these themes and instead takes a swipe at the human condition. Just like a duck to water, Fortíđ adapt to this with ease with tracks such as ‘Controlled Patterned Mental Process’, ‘Supressed Opposition’ and ‘Pandemic’ keeping the band with one foot firmly in the contemporary. These tracks are delivered through some absolutely superb guitar playing that wouldn’t be out of place on a more traditional heavy metal album. Furthermore, what makes ‘World Serpent’ so tantalising is the harsh vocal delivery from Thorberg who really does give an insight into how a black metal band would sound had it been fronted by Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman.
This is an album that is more than just the sum of its parts; it isn’t your stereotypical generic black metal workout, this is the sound of Fortíđ breaking the mould and stepping out to really explore what they can achieve when not constrained. Therefore, if you are looking for a black metal release with other interesting elements then ‘World Serpent’ is ripe for the picking.