Audio CD | Enhanced
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1999 EAST SIDE INC. CD
It begins with an eerie backwards fiddle, then the beats kick in, banging for dear life, and the cool, authoritative voice of Emma Härdelin floats over the top. It's the third Garmarna album, fulfilling every promise they'd made on their first two records. The ancient and modern achieve an almost perfect balance here, the original material sounding as if it should be centuries old. Blood, guts, violence, love, they're all here, every aspect of the human condition. While the band conjures up musical magic, it's Härdelin who emerges as the sorceress, the true star, with a voice that just seems to bewitch. Put it all together, and you have something that's more than the sum of its impressive parts. This is the record you always knew Garmarna could make. --Chris Nickson
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Top Customer Reviews
The album gets off to a heavy start with Gamen. It then crashes to a halt into the Pre-Medieval Industrial groove of Euchari, originally a hymn penned by abbess Hildergard von Bingen in the middle ages.
Another track of note includes the dark bloody title track, both eerie and unnerving at the same time, with lyrics (though sung in Swedish, the English lyrics are included) about murder, drinking blood and wild beasts. Of course, this is typical of Garmarna's lyrical fare. Only here the music really provides the appropriate backdrop to the disturbing traditional tunes.
As a whole, the album loses its intensity as the disc wears on, but don't let this keep you from getting into other wonderful tracks such as Herr Holkin, Polska (the one tune closest to their previous work) or Sorgsen Ton.
I would like to hear more rootsy stuff but this is a great disc nonetheless. It would be nice to hear an album that combined the best of their early folk work with the electronica of this album. One can only hope. In the meantime, immerse yourself in the world of Garmarna -- you won't regret it.
However, I still like it more that God's Musicians, since this one takes their concept furhter, but closer. This makes it ideal as a starter for you journey into the Swedish Ethno Folkmusic, but if you are already a fan of Garmarna, this is YOUR choice! "The Vulture" (I think thats the name, I've got the Swedish version, on which it's called "Gamen") is actually really close to the techno vibes of The Prodigy, while Euchari is more of an hypnotic chanting. And, as usual, the lyrics are so good that it's horrendous! Taste this: "The first day she stood as bride, the next day chained in iron". If you're not familiar with the Swedish language, I'm happy to offer free translations.
Emma's voice and presentation is the most poignant and believable in Nordic music today, with a loving nod to my friends Kirsten Brten Berg and Agnes Buen Garns of Norway who, from one generation earlier, will never be duplicated. Even Emma's physical presentation, as shown on the enhanced CD's video of "Gamen" adds to the effect Garmarna creates. She might be Urda, risen to advise Odin on how to avoid G¿tterdammerung, or a valkyrja appearing to a warrior in anticipation of his death and ride to Valhalla.
Garm (Garmarna means, literally, "The Garms") is the hound at the gates of hel, whose baying is one of the portents of Ragnar¿k, the doom of the gods. Perhaps the Fenris wolf will break free on Garmarna's next CD, bringing down Odin and moving the universe one step closer to a new reality. Hopefully skipping Christianity and capitalism this time!
The CD's only drawback, I believe, is the lack of explosive emotion and sound immediately following the opening track. The ending track has actually put me to sleep a few times, disappointingly, and the rest of the CD seems unable to match the frenzied pace set by "Gamen." Still, this album is definitely worth your money, whatever the drawback.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
there is a little of the traditional in this, but only very little.Read more