Atorc – Under The Raven Banner
Release Date: 04/04/2019
Running Time: 42:06
Review by Sheri Bicheno
Hailing from Suffolk, Battle Hardened Folk Metal Warriors, Atorc were formed in 2012. Their latest offering “Under The Raven Banner” comes two years after their first release, EP “Seven Tales Of Swords And Ale.”
They have been absolutely storming the UK, performing their tales and leaving audiences in sheer awe.
First look into the debut album and ‘OOOOOH MY GOODNESS THAT BEAUTIFUL INTRO’! Once first track ‘Hrafnsmerki’ starts, you visualise a landscape of misty mountains and lakes. A Norse linguist passage over Huldra’s violin is stunning here and sets off the album with a calming, yet anticipating medieval ambience.
Then we are thrown into title track “Under The Raven Banner” and this is a prime example of what Atorc are capable of delivering. This brings us that anticipated power and Viking metal mix, with harsher growls and vocals, a slight Iron Maiden vibe, from the power of vocalist Helbard. This tells us tales of riding into war, victory and glory bearing the symbolic flag that was historically flown by Viking chieftains and rulers.
Third track ‘The Mead Hall’ is notably catchy… “We drink, we fight, we dance all night”.
This is something the audience would want to join in on during Atorc’s live performances. The track starts off with a mix of tones and it can be hard to keep up until you get to that catchy chorus – then you’re catapulted into wanting to join in on this fun venture, horn of mead in hand, headbanging and swaying to the violins.
My favourite track, in regards to the way it is constructed, is definitely ‘Hammer To Anvil’ – this track see’s everyone‘s skills prominently on display. Boudikath’s keyboards and backing vocals complement Helbard’s very strong vocal features and give a soothing effect along with Huldra on violin. The guitar and bass from Scallywag and BattleBeast with their melodic and heavy riffing are something to behold. Vilir gives us drums that work well with the guitars, both incredibly fast paced with wonderful cymbal work in the melodic parts. This is a beautiful track and I’m looking forward to seeing it live.
Track ‘Ragnarok’ similarly stands out to me – this has more death growls and builds quite a variety of moods as the progresses. This is my favourite track on the whole album.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of power and folk metal, I’d say this album is the one for you. I have seen Atorc perform three times and they are deservedly making a name for themselves for when people suggest a folk metal band to follow.
2. Under The Raven Banner
3. The Mead Hall
4. Hammer To Anvil
5. Maidens Of The Shield
7. Voice Of The Storm
8. Isle Of The Brave
Helbard – Vocals
Scallywag – Guitars
Huldra – Violins
Boudikath – Keyboard and backing vocals
BattleBeast – Bass Guitar
Vilir – Drums
Tweets by AtorcFolkMetal
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