Minneriket - Sorg og Savn - Song Review - Melodic Black Metal from Oslo, Norway

Minneriket - Sorg og Savn - Song Review - Melodic Black Metal from Oslo, Norway

Today, we delve into the realm of old school melodic black metal with Minneriket, a band hailing from Oslo, Norway. In this review, I explored their latest single, "Sorg og Savn," analyzing its character, style, story, potential, and more.

Minneriket caught my attention in 2018 with their impressive album "Anima Sola." Now, they return with a brand new single, "Sorg og Savn," released on June 25th, 2021, ahead of their upcoming album release.

For those unfamiliar with the band, Minneriket made their debut in 2015 with the album "Vargtimen." Since then, they have released three more albums: "Stjerner, speil og svartebøker​.​.​." (2016), "From the veins of a nearly dead boy - A tribute to BURZUM" (2017), and "Anima Sola" (2018). Additionally, they have treated fans to five singles: "Jærtegn (alternative Single version)" (2016), "An All Too Human Heart" (2017), "Tro, håp og kjærlighet" (2017), "Hjemlengsel" (2021), and "Sorg og Savn" (2021). Take a moment to listen to the song as we delve further into this article.

Minneriket is the brainchild of Stein Akslen, a passionate multi-instrumentalist and composer. I hold immense respect for Stein, appreciating the incredible musical journey he has embarked on with Minneriket over the years. Having been involved in the music industry for over a decade myself, I find it fascinating to encounter individuals like Stein, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication by releasing such an extensive discography in just six years. The mere glimpse into Minneriket's body of work is enough to command respect, but there is much more to discover. For the past two weeks, I have immersed myself in "Sorg og Savn" to gain a thorough understanding of this composition. I must admit that it presents both promising aspects and weaknesses.

First and foremost, "Sorg og Savn" is a progressive song with pronounced influences from traditional and melodic black metal. Its multi-layered instrumentation takes listeners on an unpredictable journey. In this regard, I sense similarities to Opeth. Minneriket strives to blend four key elements within the song: melodic female vocals, Scandinavian ethnic vibes, traditional black metal, and progressive elements.

The band's overall approach is remarkable. Stein's innovative perspective resonates with the pioneering spirit of metal's origins. It's a mindset rooted in artistic integrity, irrespective of reception, shaping the essence of rock and metal music. Minneriket has consistently stayed true to their sound and origins, making "Sorg og Savn" another significant step forward in their career and hinting at their specific musical direction.

The song exudes a captivating melody, with guitars serving as the backbone. The main female vocalist possesses a beautiful, soothing voice reminiscent of Amy Lee from Evanescence. The juxtaposition of such vocals with the brutality of black metal creates an intriguing contrast and proves to be an effective idea to explore. Furthermore, the drummer's approach stands out, delivering fantastic rhythms that avoid generic patterns while remaining faithful to the band's black metal roots. After nearly a decade of exploring new music daily, I can confidently say that this level of artistic intelligence is a rare find.

However, every coin has two sides, and "Sorg og Savn" has its share of weaknesses. The overall mix of the song disappoints me, falling short of what this composition truly deserves. While every component is audibly clear, emotionally connecting with the narrative proves challenging due to the linear dynamics. The song's potential is compromised by this flaw, resulting in a lack of coherence.

As the song's structure and direction become clearer with repeated listens, the mix's shortcomings become more apparent. In "Sorg og Savn," the guitars and drums, the foundations of black metal, are overshadowed, while the keyboard and female vocals are excessively dominant. The keyboard's melodic parts persist throughout the song, disregarding its evolving dynamics with an unwavering volume.

Additionally, the song features an abundance of layered instruments. At times, I discern three-layered female vocals, along with keyboards, guitars, drums, cello, bass, and violins playing separate parts simultaneously. While I appreciate innovative decisions, this particular choice led to a lack of focus, especially when it was crucial to captivate the listener. Though each instrument serves a purpose in their respective roles, the excessive number of solo-like passages played concurrently creates an unbalanced listening experience.

Despite these technical weaknesses, Minneriket's musicality leaves a lasting impression. When a composition possesses remarkable potential, technicality takes a back seat for me. And I am confident that I am not alone in this sentiment.

In conclusion, Metalhead Community Team congratulates Minneriket for their single, Sorg og Savn, and wishes them the very best in their future careers. Thank you for reading.


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