Ildfar - Official Website

Som Vinden Farer Vil

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

1. Taakeheimen
2. Under Sorte Vinger
3. The Last Dawn
4. Den Gamle Mannen Hvisker Mitt Navn
5. Som Vinden Farer Vil
6. Vandring
7. Under The Graves (of 1994)
8. Pesten
9. Behold The Throne
10. Lyset I Skumringen
11. Norges Haller

Review by Felix on December 2, 2023.

I wish I could praise "Som Vinden Farer Vil" for its overwhelming quality, but Ildfar's debut is a typical second tier album. It is too good to hate it, but there are also not a lot of reasons to fall in love with it. A solid number of melody lines is okay, but there is an almost omnipresent symphonic touch which prevents a (more) hostile aura. A few Burzum inspired ambient sequences, especially 'Vandring' in the center of the output, damage the flow rather than improve the album. Maybe no big deficiency, but somehow useless. Anyway, to deal with the negative aspects as a whole, the most problematic component are the vocals. Favn obviously thinks he has to produce something similar to clear vocals from time to time. This is a kind of pain in the ass, because his attempts sound very odd and more or less completely inadequate.

A clear vision of the sound and the direction of the album is missing here in my humble opinion. There are stormy outbursts which indicate a pretty merciless direction, but they are counteracted to a certain extent by comparatively limp sequences. 'The Last Dawn' is a mostly vehement and fast-paced eruption of brutal passion and in addition, it even offers almost hidden eerie melody lines. But one cannot say that this song is characteristic for the entire full-length. Already the following piece is rather focused on (once again) Burzum-esque melancholy with tremolo picking and dragging rhythms. But it is not easy – or almost impossible – to beat Varg on his own pitch. But even if we forget the highlights of the dubious Count, the title track on the fifth position is no jewel as well. It symbolizes the entire inner conflict of the debut. A furious beginning stops suddenly and an acoustic guitar contributes some tones. This happens again and again, and I cannot really realize a connection between these two building blocks of the song. Its main melody line promises triumph and heroism, but the final result rather speaks of incoherence.

The production faces similar problems as the song material. It is no feeble sound, but it also does not have a convincing natural aura. In particular during the high speed parts, the keyboards overload the sound without adding a proper degree of fascinating atmosphere. Things get better with 'Behold the Throne'. I don&'t know whether the album was created in different session, but this piece seems to be based on a better production. The remaining songs sound pretty blurred. Nevertheless, although the high velocity parts are badly produced, they do not kill the complete force of the songs. The short and restless 'Under the Graves (of 1994)' belongs to the better tracks here, even though the artist did not found an appropriate ending for it. 'Lyset I skumringen', another good track, also holds pugnacious high speed sections.

All in all, the worldwide black metal market offers so many excellent albums that it is hard to get the attention with an "only" solid work. Maybe this debut came too early for Favn, its successor shows much more of his talent. It follows more or less the same approach as the debut, but Favn uses his tools much better than before. And so "Som Vinden Farer Vil" is an album for people who cannot get enough of Norwegian black metal, but beware: its best days are long gone.

Rating: 6.2 out of 10