De gjenlevende is Bergen, Norway based band Galar’s third full length effort that combines raw black metal with folk metal. With this new album under their belt, they just played Norway’s Inferno Metal Festival and got a fantastic response from fans that travelled across the globe to attend the fest. This album is definitely making my end of the year list in some way. They figured out how to combine genres without extracting any emotion out of the songs which is something that is not easy to pull off. Any praise this album gets is well deserved.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve been into a band that mixes genres in their music. Usually, with newer bands that try and do that, it doesn’t work and takes so much away from what they’re trying to do. It’s definitely not an easy task to successfully pull off, but not for Galar. The band is made up of two core members, Fornjot (piano, clean vocals, keyboards, bassoon) and Slagmark (vocals, guitar, bass), with Phobos as guest on drums. All those instruments are part of what makes this album so great. With such a wide variety of tools to use, they do not limit themselves musically at all. I admire great pianists, and Forjot is fantastic at what he does with the piano and the keyboards. There are points in the album where it feels like I’m listening to a classical piece and I start to forget that I’m listening to Galar! For instance, my favorite track on the album is “Ljós” which is not anything close to what the rest of the album is like. It’s such an interesting piece on its own that I could listen to a whole album with songs like that written by this band. You can tell that this band is rooted in classical music and I love it when bands let that shine through. Another one of their strongest tracks is one that immediately follows “Ljós” and that is “Gjeternes tunge steg”. This is where things really start to pick up. With songs like those on the album, they have an incredible visual vibe. If you close your eyes and just let the wave of the music wash over you, there is a very visual effect that these songs give off. Visions of nature, mountains and forests instantly come to mind. There’s something very comforting about this album and I think that is why I enjoy it so much. Galar is a band that knows what music should be about; an escape from reality.
1. De gjenlevende
2. Natt … og taust et forglemt liv
3. Bøkens hymne
5. Gjeternes tunge steg
6. Tusen kall til solsang ny
Marius Kristiansen (Slagmark) – screams, guitars and bass
Are B. Lauritzen (Fornjot) – clean vocals, bassoon and grand piano
Tomas Myklebust – drums
Read Jason’s interview with Galar’s Marius here.