Written by Katha
- Artist: AETHER REALM
- Album: Redneck Vikings From Hell
- Genre: Progressive Melodic Death Metal
- Release Date: May 1, 2020
- Country: USA (North Carolina)
- Label: Napalm Records
- Highlights: Slave To The Riff – TMHC – Craft and the Creator
Some metal genres are quickly associated with a country, and even though you can find representatives for each one all over the world, certain styles will bring a “Oh, these guys are surely from…” to the music lover’s mind. Musically seen, Aether Realm could easily be found in the mountains of Finland, but the four piece band is heading from North Carolina.
So why not play with these stereotypes?
Their newest full-length effort “Redneck Vikings From Hell” picks up here with the album title and the first track, which has a kind of Wild West Gloryhammer vibe. But unlike their label mates they don’t stay in this scheme, but spread their wings and fly through different styles over the next 50 minutes. And in combination with thoughtful lyrics, this album is definitely not a joke as the title might probably suggest.
After having tipped their toe into American folk with a touch of Viking metal, the second song “Goodbye” still comes up catchy (distracting from the sad lyrics), before “Lean Into The Wind” and “Hunger” kick in with full power, and we’re completely into the realm of melodic death metal.
In between, they slow down pace with Guardian, a ballad about the wish to have someone who guides through a rough time. The sound of piano with the warm vocals is beautiful, and honestly, don’t we all have these moments sometimes?
Let’s get heavier again: “Slave To The Riff” is a beast of a song with headbanging guarantee. Crank it up!!
The great final comes with “Craft and the Creator”, an 11 minutes instrumental track that showcases once more the technical skills of all band members in combination with an amazing songwriting.
The mix of Viking madness and serious musicianship makes “Redneck Vikings From Hell” a great listening pleasure. The album is hard-hitting, melodic and virtuoso, with expressive vocals and varied songwriting. I appreciate these little interludes, always thrown in when you think “ok, I got it…”, that change pace and mood for a moment, but still let the songs develop in a natural flow.