Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice
Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice (2013)
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
I’ve watched Ereb Altor from the sidelines for the last few years, dipping in for individual tracks and cursory listens but never fully taking the plunge. That was set to change with the advent of their fourth full-length, Fire Meets Ice, where I’ve finally found the time to delve into the band’s Viking-tinged melodic doom.
In the leviathan opening title track, I was immediately reminded of Bathory around the time of Hammerheart, or their Viking period, if you will. The riffs are Quorthon through and through, which is ace, and they really channel the spirit of those Bathory albums throughout. Sure, by now comparing this band/album to Bathory isn’t exactly novel – and I’m sure I’m echoing the thoughts of many – but there are some things which just can’t be denied. The vocals do a pretty good job of aping Quorthon in the gruffer sections, although I’d say Mats has a more melodic timbre than Quorthon ever did. There are also some black metal rasps utilized at varying points through the album, which fit in well, and help emphasize the heavier aspects of individual songs.
For the completely uninitiated, expect a slow to mid-paced riff approach, adorned in places with proud acoustic guitars varying between strums and more intricate picking. Expect crashing drums, pummelling bass, and of course the aforementioned vocal approach dancing between gruff, extreme, and melodic. In terms of other bands, I’d say here on Fire Meets Ice, Ereb Altor blends together sounds heard in the likes of Candlemass, Isole, Moonsorrow, Atlantean Kodex, and of course Bathory, which is without doubt the dominating influence.
The material across the board is definitely enjoyable here on Fire Meets Ice, there’s a lot of atmosphere contained throughout and it’s fairly easy to lose yourself amongst the mammoth arrangements. I’d say this one is ideal for the coming cold, although I’m sure fans of the genre will no doubt enjoy this one the whole year round. Look out for numbers such as the title track, “Nifelheim” and the killing “Helheimsfard”.
3.75 // 5