Ründgard (CHI) – Stronghold Of Majestic Ruins LP
Originally released as cassette by Mahamvantara Arts Records earlier this year, RÜNDGARD’s first public recording is one literally out of time. Mainman Lord Valtgryftåk is a prolific veteran of Chile’s increasingly potent black metal underground, concurrently handling the likes of Pyreficativm, 13th Temple, Gryftigæn, and Winterstorm among others. And while a number of those bands and satellite entities belonging to the Pure Raw Underground Black Metal Plague are indeed the rawest of the raw, with RÜNDGARD does he delve into ancient times, medieval majesty, and grim splendor somewhere between the earliest Nordic works and contemporaneous Polish ones.
Recorded during two periods over the course of MMXX/MMXXI and now featuring a mix & master by Rudrah Studios, Stronghold of Majestic Ruins suitably evokes its namesake both sonically and thematically. Empirically, the recording evokes the ancient passages and memories of a distant land submerged in mist and an interesting story behind ruins. As Lord Valtgryftåk explains, “Originally, this entity is directly related to those archaic dimensional Valdivian forces that still inhabit our realms, those forces from the past written in blood and guarded by solemn towers and fortresses that still remain alive.” And truly, that past comes alive across the album’s succinct-yet-expansive 25-minute runtime, maintaining a faithful respect for the old traditions and the sound of glorious times with an interesting melodic register at the same time very organic. No record-collector-nerd “raw black metal” here: only authentic ancient vintage!
For those nostalgic for forgotten realms and archaic ages, RÜNDGARD returns from a deep slumber with the fortifying Stronghold of Majestic Ruins!