Kampfar “Heimgang” (2008)

How anti-avant-garde can metal become? Listen to Kampfar’s new album “Heimgang” and you’ll get a dubiously perfect idea!

The title nearly says it all: Kampfar is on its “Heimgang”, way back into “Skogens Dyp” (song #3), into “skogens mørke”, as we can see on the profane cover (which is no “artwork” for sure, but rather looks like the result of a totally uninspired Photoshop session done in three minutes). Kampfar has never been discussed as synonym for avant-garde metal; nevertheless it has contributed some classic songs to nature-inspired Norwegian metal, it has moreover introduced the didgeridoo into blackened metal to illustrate the underworld (on “Frå Underverdenen) and surely inspired quite a lot of musicians more than a decade ago. But what this band delivers nowadays is just a poor foreseeable reflection of its primitive, but once mighty music.

On “Heimgang” we find very little new besides the well-known trademarks, namely uplifting and folky riffs, simple drum patterns and Dolks screams which in regard to the band’s first releases suffer from the missing power of expression and non-existent variety. It’s almost absurd that a band which has once underlined its “Hymne” with proud male choirs, doesn’t try anything at all to enrich its own sound with some elements that keep this very sound alive. There’s no moment on “Heimgang” in which the band regains its strength from the nineties, each and every passage pales in comparison with classics like “Norse”, “Kampfar” or a towering song like “Troll” with its soulful folk arrangements and mighty riffs. The sole new approach might be spotted in the doomy “Vandring”, but you might already guess that this walking-tour obviously leads to the graveyard where the musicians must have buried the last sparks of their imagination. At least the black metal pensioners spare us with another shoddy record like “Kvass”, but all in all “Heimgang” is again nothing but weak.

-Thor Joakimsson


Release:  29.09.2008
Label:  Napalm Records
Avantgenre:  Black Folk Metal
Duration:  47:08
Origin:  Norway
Official site:  http://www.kampfar.com
Review online since:  30.09.2008 / 14:47:34


01 – Vantro
02 – Inferno
03 – Dødens Vee
04 – Skogens Dyp
05 – Antvort
06 – Vansinn
07 – Mareham
08 – Feigdarvarsel
09 – Vettekult
10 – Vandring

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