High fantasy and heavy metal goes together like leather goes together with bikers. Metal bands have, since it’s inception, written music that corresponds to fantastical stories from literature (Tolkien comes to mind) or board games (like Dungeons and Dragons). Ereb Altor is a Swedish epic Viking/Doom metal band from the town of Gävle. Members of this band are also members in Doom metal band Isole. Their name comes from the name of the world and continent it is situated on in Drakar och Demoner (Swedish for Dragons and Demons, an high fantasy board game) in the first campaign setting.
With a name like Ereb Altor you expect epic music and on their 3rd full length Gastrike they play such that. The first song The Gathering of Witches starts off with an haunting piano line with ghostly vocals then the band hits with dissonant riffage and black metal like vocals. The song continues this until the blast beats hits and the band cranks the speed. Ereb Altor creates haunting atmosphere and are not afraid to use clean choir like vocals and keyboards to give their sound depth. The song Dance of Darkness, for instance, in the beginning uses a melody that many In Flames fans will recognize that was on their Lunar Strain album called Hårgalåten which in itself a traditional Swedish folk song by the same name. Gastrike is definitely a great album that seems to throw in multiple dynamics to keep it interesting. Songs like I Djupet Så Svart gives the album a very epic feel with halfway through powerful clean vocals comes in singing in Swedish.
Overall the album is good, but doesn’t really add anything new to the genre which might be it’s biggest fault. The atmosphere is what really makes this album shine and fans of Moonsorrow or Falkenbach might get a kick out this album.
1 Gathering of Witches
2 Dance of Darkness
4 Boatmans Call
5 Mistress of Wisdom
6 Djupet Sa Svart