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9 Oct 2006 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A classic. 20 Jun 2004
By krista - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my very favourite albums. Happily I discovered it shortly after it's release in the mid 90's, and I have treasured it ever since. It is a grim masterpiece, largely neo-medieval in feel, with the suitably coarse hurdy-gurdy sharing the textural pallette with fiddles, heavy percussion and a plethora of folk and modern instruments, whilst the beautiful, fearsome singing of Emma Hardelin weaves harrowing tales on top. The focus is upon darker ballads and wild dances from the Swedish tradition, and there's not a weak moment throughout this spellbinding album.
The few Garmarna fans that I know all regard "Vittrad" and the preceeding "Garmarna E.P" as their greatest works. This is not to say that Garmarna have since gone downhill, far from it, I suppose they've just gone up a different hill from the one we hoped they'd choose, but it's nevertheless got a mighty fine view. They are not the most prolific band, which is a shame, because I'd love to hear more in the vein of "Vittrad" from them, though I doubt they will return to this sound.
I read that the band themselves hardly play any of the early material live anymore, and are even a little embarrassed by it, which is surprising.
This album has pride of place in my cd collection, being a pivotal purchase, and a darned fine cd. If you like this cd, and wish to explore the Scandinavian folk scene further, it's well worth checking out Gjallarhorn, Hedningarna (though the latter, while having a heavy approach similar to Garmarna, is infused with a skewed humour that makes it somewhat different in feel), Lena Willemark and Ale Moller ("Nordan" and "Hasten Och Tranen" are great, as are their albums in the trio Frifot), and also, for more of Emma's lovely singing, there is Triakel.
Fans of Dead Can Dance, Unto Ashes, Love Is Colder Than Death, Miranda Sex Garden, and other gothy bands that have delved into the neo-medieval and folk spheres, may well be delighted with Vittrad too.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Unique Combo... hundreds of years ago - Today! 18 Oct 2002
By J. Hort - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Shame the American Public doesn't get exposed more to the rest of the World. This is Grooves that travel through Time with perfect and inventive musicianship. I personally like to start this Cd on song No. 13 "Stepmother" and let it continue as a mix into the beginning with song No. 1 "Mother and Daughter Punished", there's some fluidity to it. By the way I don't understand nor speak Swedish, then again I love Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and don't speak Italian eather. Good Music is what counts.
This is worth the experience, a must! Recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Raw, rhythmic, dark and exciting! 5 Feb 2004
By Ulven - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is the pinnacle of Garmarna's 'raw' albums.The rhythm is pulsating, and the instrument combinations are perfect.Grinding violin/zithers, jew's harp, bag-pipes, ancient drums etc.But the surprise to non-afficianado's of Nordic folk, is the usage of distortion guitar.Some Nordic folk bands (this band and album being an example) are better at heavy-metal riff'ing than many a heavy metal band.And of course, the female singer.She sounds like she's standing on the edge of a vast tundra just singing to the ice and the sky.Though later albums will prove her more 'professional', this one shows her at her most prime-eval.She is piercing.The themes are dark and violent.The wilderness is the back-drop of Nordic folk, whether it be human spells or animals as the focal-point.There is nothing pretty about this albums angle on this nature.If you like dark raw emotions and can stomach graphic depictions, give this culture a go.And starting with this album would be well-advised.This can match any heavy-metal album for grim story-telling.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 22 Sep 2002
By Violet - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There really isn't a better word to describe this album- I imagine that, since an American listener would be unlikely to understand the lyrics, he or she would find it somewhat more visceral than the band may have intended. All the same, this is completely unlike well-behaved easy-listening music, cookie-cutter pop, poseur rap, or any other music you are likely to hear on the radio, on television, or in films these days. Garmarna adapts medieval ballads that mix folk tales (talking animals, magic) with everyday fears of the time (slavery, starvation, war)- and if you don't care to read translations of the lyrics, you can enjoy the strange combination of Old Norse tunes played on electric guitars and a jew's-harp.
The music itself is wonderful to listen to- it makes a great car tape, since the music raises your adrenaline and puts you in touch with your inner Viking (so to speak) enough to keep you alert for long stretches on the Interstate. It's usually fast-paced, seems like it was made for dancing, and is a little off-putting, since you're basically putting yourself into another culture. Also, possibly, because a few of the songs- particularly the last, "Klevabergselden"- seem rather apocalyptic and overwhelming, but why else would you listen to a group that has apparently named itself after Garm, the wolf in Norse mythology that swallows the sun and creates endless winter? Unless you explicitly hate all kinds of folk music, you should check this album out.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Northern European Indigenous Heritage 11 Feb 2000
By Erik Nygård - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Want to feel what it's like to be a present-day, modern, industrialized northern European (Euro-American) and still be "indigenous?" If so, then check out this album. Garmarna will have you channelling Loki, dancing with Freyja, staring Odin in His one good eye, laughing & singing with Thor, Frigga, and co. Vittrad moves me in ways that few albums/groups can.
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