Garmarna

Vengeance

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Although originally inspired by Swedish traditional folk music, Garmarna continues to show that they are not hung up on traditional instrumentation or arrangements. They have stated in interviews that it is the feeling of the old folk music that they are after rather than the exact form. This has left them freer than perhaps any folk-inspired band in Swedish history. With Vengeance they have cooked up a new sound unlike any ever to emerge from Sweden. With the help of producer Sank, Garmarna have stirred in electronica, ambient, rock and Swedish folk. Unlike a salad where one can focus on each individual taste, Vengeance is a sauce. All of the ingredients have stewed so long with each other that one is only left with a deep richly-nuanced taste on the tongue. This album harkens to David Bowie's Low and The Man Who Sold the World, as well as throwing down some energetic dance grooves, but the overall impression is of a Scandinavian drug trance. It is a perfect accompaniment to lyrics that remind one that the world of fairy tale is not the sanitized Disney version we are familiar with today. It is a world of blood, betrayal and brutishness as well as beauty. As if to illustrate this mix of disparate elements, the QuickTime movie of the video for Gamen/Vulture (included as part of this enhanced CD) depicts lead singer Emma Härdelin dressed in virginal white, a stoic beauty intoning the ancient syllables as waves of stage divers and crowd surfers break against the dais on which she sings.

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