Style: Atmospheric Black Metal
Release date: 25 March, 2011
Playing time: 50:48

Kampfar has consistently delivered the goods throughout their existence (my personal favorite being Kvass). I think they fly lower on the radar than they really should; they aren't an elite black metal band, but they inhabit the level immediately below that.

Mare has a different feel than previous Kampfar releases (which themselves have been variant). This album delivers a solid atmospheric backdrop, and it sounds far more produced than previous work (it's produced by Peter Tagtgren). I think the thing that jumps out at me most is the poignancy of the drums; they have always been good, but here they are a more integral part of the mix.

I guess the biggest detractor to the album itself is the fact that the riffing is so markedly un-melodic compared to previous releases. The keys drive most of the melody, which assists in creating the atmospheric feel, but the guitar riffing on previous Kampfar releases has always been inventive. It's far more subdued here, taking on a support role rather than dominating the show. The keys do a good job of pushing the action and the vocals are decent enough. "Blitzwitch" and "Mare" are in English (atypical of Kampfar) and have an impact that draws you further into the song. There are few spots where the bass shines through as well (it has always been pretty good).

Overall, I'd still call it my least favorite Kampfar album, but it's only a few notches below everything else in their discography. On its own, it's still a very good album. If you're a fan of the band, you'll probably still enjoy it. If you've never heard of Kampfar before, I recommend picking up their earlier works (all of which are good) before delving into this one.


01. Mare
04. Bergtatt
05. Trolldomspakt
06. Volvevers
07. Blitzwitch
08. Nattgang
09. Altergang

Label: Napalm Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 78/100
Reviewed by: The Rev
Date: 31 March, 2011
Website: www.kampfar.com