VÖ / OUT: 17.06.2022 + + + + Epic viking metal re-issue! Finally available again. Bearing all the qualities that allows a band to be blessed with the word ‘Cult’ in this day and age are Swedish Epic Viking Metal band Ereb Altor. Cult not only because “The End” is just their 2nd album since initial formation back in 1990, not only that the main protagonists hail from the highly under-rated Isole, nor too that their sound is steeped in “Hammerheart”-era Bathory, but that on top of all this we have here one album of music passionate and epic enough to deserve the use of this hallowed word. Put it this way, if you worship at the altar of Viking-era Bathory, then “The End” is going to please you a lot. Songs like “Myrding”, “Vargavinter (The End Part I)” and “The Final War (The End Part III)” plod along at their own casual pace, stopping by to tick the boxes of ‘crushing’, ‘dramatic’ and ‘proud’ on their way to the creation of an album that could hardly be less fashionable despite having one foot in the Viking metal camp. With a vocal performance from Ragnar (Daniel Bryntse) which becomes increasingly Quorthon-like during the album’s 48 minutes Ereb Altor makes no bones about who their main influence is. Passionate lead and backing vocals, gentle yet strikingly profound synth accompaniment and monotonous drums (in a good way) all go into the making of the album’s best track “Myrding”, showcasing how content the band are to play music straight from the heart in strong defiance of the need to be the heaviest, fastest, slowest or most technical outfit out there. Given the true doom feel, naturally derived from Isole some of the potential Viking/pagan metal crowd may be turned off, shocked at the absence of blastbeats, riffing speed or screaming. But let this be a lesson in history: all things Viking were birthed from this sound, and on the basis of “The End” they are continuing, albeit slowly, in a very natural and interesting direction.