Although it is now quite a while since SVARTSOT has released new material, the band is still very much alive and kicking. In the interim since 2015’s Vældet, the beer-soaked folk metallers have been active on the live scene in Denmark and abroad, including appearances at various major festivals as well as at the prestigious 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise in 2019. After a change of bassist and the decision to shelve an album’s worth of material in 2017/18, the idea of releasing a collection of traditional folk songs that have inspired the band, reworked in Svartsot’s characteristic style, was spawned.
The original idea was to release this fifth album, entitled “Kumbl” (an old Danish word meaning ‘monument’ or ‘memorial’), in 2020 to coincide with Svartsot’s 15th anniversary. However, due to various practicalities, the album was first recorded—by none other than the band’s drummer and up-and-coming producer, Frederik Uglebjerg (www.uglebjerg.com)—during the pandemic. The release also marks the band’s first collaboration with Danish metal label, Mighty Music.
“Kumbl” features 12 tracks, will be released in February 25th, and present a mixture of some relatively unknown and other more popular folk and late medieval songs from Denmark and across Northern Europe. Two songs feature guest vocal appearances by Andrea Uglebjerg, vocalist in the Danish punk band Situationsfornærmelse and sister of aforementioned Frederik. Three singles will be released: “Liden Kirsten”, out in December 3rd, is a traditional Danish folk ballad telling the tale of how a king decided to make the lady of his desires the mother of his children and his queen without telling her first; “Carmen Vernale” is a song from around 1500, written by Morten Børup, cantor at Aarhus Cathedral, praising the arrival of spring and performed in the original Latin—the melody is played each hour by the bells of Aarhus Townhall; “Drømte Mig En Drøm” is an elaboration on the oldest recorded Danish song, being handed down to us in a runic manuscript from ca. 1300. A music video will be released for “Liden Kirsten”, while a lyric video version of “Drømte Mig En Drøm” will also be available.
“We’re really pleased with the album and are looking forward to see how the fans will react”, says one of the band’s guitarists, Cris.
“So now, we finally can pick up day drinking again, since the album is going to be released!”, adds the other guitarist, Alm.
“I’ll drink to that!”, Cris summarises.
In support of the album, Svartsot have been booked for a series of concerts across Denmark. Whilst only a few European shows are booked or planned at the moment, more will hopefully follow, if travel regulations permit.
Simon Buje: bass
Frederik Uglebjerg: drums
Michael Alm: rhythm guitars
Cris J.S. Frederiksen: lead guitars, acoustic guitars (studio), mandolin (studio)
Hans-Jørgen Martinus Vork Rosenwein: tin whistles, electric bagpipe, mandolin (live)
Thor Bager: vocals, mandolin (studio)