Minneriket is a promising melodic black metal band I discovered in 2018 with their long-play album, “Anima Sola“. Recently, they are back with a brand new single, “Sorg og Savn”, released as a single on June 25th, 2021, right before their new long-play album release.
For those who haven’t heard about the band before, Minneriket has started their careers with a long play album called; “Vargtimen“ in 2015. Since then, the band has released three more albums; “Stjerner, speil og svartebøker...“ (2016), “From the veins of a nearly dead boy – A tribute to BURZUM“ (2017), “Anima Sola“ (2018), and 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). Now, please give the song a listen while reading the rest of the article.
Minneriket is a one-man project band of Stein Akslen, a passionate multi-instrumentalist, and composer. I must say that I have huge respect for Stein, for what he has done with his project Minneriket all these years. I am an old-fashioned person who has also been in the music industry for more than 10 years. It is fascinating to me coming across people like Stein, who has done an incredible job in his musical career so far by releasing all these albums only in six years. Looking at Minneriket’s discography alone is more than enough for me to respect a band, yet, believe me, Minneriket has way more than that when you get to know the band better. I have been constantly listening to Sorg og Savn for about 2 weeks now, just to be sure of what I am going to write here today. My brief conclusion is that there are promising things in this song as well as weaknesses.
First of all, Sorg og Savn is a progressive song with heavy influences of traditional and melodic black metal. The song has many layered rich-instrumentation, takes the listener on a journey where it leaves no chance to predict what’s coming next. In this way, I sense similarities and influences from Opeth. When I think of all of these decisions, there’s no doubt that Minneriket has tried to blend four main elements here in this song; melodic female vocals, Scandinavian ethnic vibes, traditional black metal, and progressive music elements.
The general approach here is remarkable. I liked the innovative perspective of Stein, where he reminded me of the way how the originators of metal were making music back in the day. This was the mindset regardless of its reception, and this is the way rock and metal music was born. Minneriket has always been faithful to his fans with their sound and origins, so I believe this song is just another step forward in their careers, giving us a hint about their specific musical direction.
The song in general is quite melodic where guitars create the basis for everything. The main female vocalist has a soothing beautiful voice who immediately reminded me of Amy Lee of Evanescence with her style. Combining such vocal style with the brutality of black metal creates an interesting contrast and makes sense that this is a good idea to work on. On the other hand, I liked the drummer’s approach. He has fantastic rhythms where he always avoided being generic but also being true to the band’s black metal origins at the same time. I am listening to new music every single day for almost ten years now and believe me, I don’t see such intelligence taking place in music very often. The fact is that average people can’t write or perform music like this.