CD – Allegiance : Vrede (1999) (Beg)

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CD – Allegiance : Vrede (1999)

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Komplett med omslag och booklet

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The term Viking Metal is a tricky one; should the term be judged from the music or do lyrics about Vikings, Odin and general Old Norse beliefs, qualify to bear the tag. I don’t know but I’ve decided to put ALLEGIANCE in the category mostly because of their lyrics. Even though they could be confused for being MARDUK on some occasions I don’t think its right to call them Black Metal. The occasions when ALLEGIANCE sounds like MARDUK are when it goes fast; you see they have Fredrik Andersson on drums. If you don’t know who he is I would like to inform you that he played on several MARDUK releases. Fredrik Andersson’s isn’t the sole reason that ALLEGIANCE sounds like MARDUK at times, though. The production, done in the Abyss Studio, makes the two bands sound similar as well.

 

With the help of that introduction you should know have an idea about how ALLEGIANCE sounds like. To that picture I would like to add excellent Norse riffs. Of course the Norsemen didn’t play guitars and such but it’s as ALLEGIANCE has captured some of that old Viking spirit and injected it into this album. I would also like to mention subtle and excellent use of keyboards; just enough to create a great atmosphere. The balance between fast and slow parts is just about perfect; the mix handles both modes very well too. “Vrede” is another (hidden) gem produced by Peter Tägtgren; DAWN’s “Slaughtersun (Crown Of Triarchy)” being another. Were MARDUK sounds satanistic ALLEGIANCE sounds Norse; I prefer the latter.

 

“Vrede” is a record without any bad songs whatsoever; a classic in other words. There is one song I would like to give some extra attention, though. “Hedna Stäl (Hymn Til Nordens Hjältär) is the epitome of all that ALLEGIANCE ever was. This song is so well crafted that it should’ve been a nominee for the Nobel Prize in Metal. Hell, the whole album should’ve been. I’ve listened to “Vrede” for the last 7 years and it hasn’t turned one bit stale. It sounds better than over 90% of all albums; both past and present. Even the intro is done right, as it is a short prelude that sets the tone for thing to come. The intro ends with the word “Nu ska du døya Kvita Kristus” which translates to “Now is your time to die Christ”. After these words are uttered we are taken into a whirlwind of drums, guitars and screams. Oh, almost forgot. The bass guitar can be heard as well, best heard when things calm down a bit.

 

I advice anyone who wants their (greedy) hands on a hidden gem to search the net for a copy, in my imagination it’s a hard to get release. If you like Swedish Black Metal ala MARDUK and DARK FUNERAL you would be wise to do so. Just remember that Satan is absent and Odin is present, on “Vrede” that is. (Online May 14, 2006) (The Metal Observer)

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