Alvheim hails from Russia, but is inspired by the Norwegian black metal sound and Viking and Scandinavian imagery. The band was formed in 2005 and issued its debut EP in 2009. I Et Fjort Fortid featured a Darkthrone cover version. Alvar handles all instruments, although singer Vetos and Tomas the drummer were former members.
Alvheim was the initial name for the band 1349. Alvheim is the land of the elves.
ALVHEIM - I ET FJORT FORTID - GARDARIKA
Where does one get true Norwegian black metal these days? Why in Russia of course. If that makes it ‘untrue,’ then clearly the untrue version has to do. While Norwegian black metal bands – supposed ones – obtain Norwegian Grammies, become artistes (note the ‘e’) in residence, use keyboards and mock themselves the influence of early Darkthrone, Gorgoroth and Mayhem has seeped elsewhere, been kept up and alive. As the line note for I Et Fjort Fortid says the EP was “inspired by the cold Norwegian old school black metal, which unfortunately remains a little now…” The CD holds an intro and an outro, an instrumental and a Darkthrone cover of the song Graven Takeheimens Saler from the Transylvanian Hunger album of 1994.
The music is comprised of no-nonsense black metal that is grim and dour. The galloping drums - Alvheim is, but one man playing all instruments - are notable, as is the screechy vocals and the treble homage to times dismal and grey. The pace is mid to fast and generally tight. The lyrics are Norwegian presumably, which is amazing given Alvheim’s origins. Similarly, the imagers and photography hails from the land of the Vikings and oarsmen of yore.
A debut that is a slap in the face of most Norwegian bands and an amazing feat of linguistics and inspiration rolled into one is what Gardarika has here. – Ali “The Metallian”