Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
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'... more »
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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Better than God's musicians!
Ivan Milles | Stockholm, Sweden | 03/20/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone who heard God's Musicians or Vittrad know that Garmarna plays old Swedish folk songs, and makes it move mountains. This record is no exception, but its somewhat different from God's Musicians. It has got more of a synth-style background, which takes it closer to "normal" music, and that why I don't put a 5-rating on it. God's musicians was so far from what you normally hear, but Vengeance is closer with it's chords and tunes. There are also more modern instruments involved, as pianos, synths and so on. If you ever heard Hedningarna, its more like them. 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."
Music to raise the dead with!
Bernard R. Baker | 10/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From the first kick-off of astounding techno merged with ancient Scandinavian to the last, soaring note, Garmarna manages to make an album which brings Swedish legends to life. My favorites on the CD have to be the opening hair-raiser, "Gamen," the CD's title track with its unforgettable opening sound of a heart beating, "Vedergallningen," and the melodic "Euchari." And it is obvious from a glance at the CD's lyrics (sadly only printed in English) that Garmarna wastes no time on toning down the blood, violence, and magic of its selected folk tales. Another plus is Emma's beautiful, soaring voice, but even when it's absent the instrumentalists do a wonderful job, as evidenced by the song's only non-vocal track, "Polska."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."
New soundtrack for Bergman's "Virgin Spring"
Bernard R. Baker | 04/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"But seriously folks, if it were possible to respectfully and successfully do a remake of "Virgin Spring", this would be my choice of a soundtrack for it. If you love this music, rent the video and see if you agree. Garmarna has woven its mastery of the Swedish medieval ballad, with all its sorcery, passion, violence, and the doom laden shadow of Ragnar¿k, into a hypnotic tapestry that modern instruments and technology only enhance. This band has perfected the vision which has guided it through its previous five star efforts, and it will be a hard act to follow.Emma's voice and presentation is the most poignant and believable in Nordic music today, with a loving nod to my friends Kirsten Br?ten Berg and Agnes Buen Garn?s 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!"