As we open with "Tyr"; quite literally god, a symbol of heroic glory...it becomes clear we aren't dealing with another rowdy band of marauders, but a duo with a real passion for their ancestry. The drums are simplistic but also sinister...coupled with the almost haunting chanting, the deep baritone style of the horns, it all sounds very ritualistic and sacrificial yet, noble at the same time...it's an interesting introduction.
"UruR" follows on and at ten minutes long, it's equal parts challenging and mildly hypnotic. It's meaning has been described using the passing of time (ironic given it's length) and also water, but it's apparent now that Wardruna are following a story. This album, like it's predecessors, is based on ancient runes and their meanings; Ragnarok itself for instance is a vastly significant event in the Nordic mythos, the death of gods, a new beginning and great floods...the track, long as it is, symbolises the nothingness of endless ocean in its repetition.
"Raido", an album highlight with more of a prominent vocal offering, coupled with more up-beat tempo and some gentle flute music derives from a term for travelling, and there is an old Norwegian poem that basically states riding is well and good for the warrior who is indoors, or who has a strong horse, but it is the horse that suffers, and it's poignant how in tune with the Earth, nature and the elements they were and again, tells a story of nobility, while "Odal", symbolic of the harvest and the inheritance of land through generations, speaks of tradition in viking culture.
On face value, it's easy to dismiss this record as, well, boring quite frankly. There's very little to differentiate the majority of the tracks on offer here; the drumming is pretty uniform, the chanting and other instrumentation although consistent and solid throughout, rarely strays from a formula, but it's when you look into the tale of Ragnarok, the meanings of the ancient runes and piece the story together it becomes a brilliant concept album from within your own imagination. Musically lacking life but creatively a work of art at the same time...if you like your music heavy, this is no Mjölnir, but it's an interesting and to some degree educational listen.