For over five years, King Of Asgard has been gaining momentum for its Nordic inspired melodic death metal. And their third album, Karg (coming out on July 22 via Metal Blade Records), takes its brutal sound to new heights. That’s why Metal Insider is not only excited to premiere a new song off the album, but also about having the chance to speak with bassist Jonas Albrektsson.
Give the song ”Remnant Of The Past” a listen in the stream below, and see what Albrektsson had to say about working with producer Andy LaRocque (also guitarist of King Diamond) for a third time and the misconceptions of Norse mythology.
What inspired the making of “Remnant Of The Past”? How did this particular song come to be?
This song is a sort of hymn or a homage we salute our ancestral paths. The song’s built actually around the chorus which formed the whole lyrical concept. “Remnant Of The Past” is a tribute to the Rök Runestone which is one of Sweden’s most famous rune stones with 760 characters carved it is considered to contain the world’s longest runic inscription. The Rök stone is located really close to where we have our rehearsal space and thus it’s in our authentic historical proximity. The stone is said to be the starting point in the Swedish literary history as the oldest extant literary work. Erected, by runemaster Varinn to his son, probably in the first half of the 800s. This song celebrates this remnant and shows that it yet remains strong despite the ravages of time. It’s not retelling the story, it merely emphasizes the reason of why monuments like this came to be and its vigor and strength, still.
What inspired the band to once again work with producer Andy LaRocque on Karg?
Not sure I would say anything inspired us in the choice of studio, we knew what we were facing which of course can be inspiring though for sure. But, yes, we returned once again and actually this being our third time around, both Fi’mbulvintr and …to North was recorded at Sonic Train Studios with Andy. It’s a steady relationship we’ve built up and it’s a comfortable and a somewhat safe choice as we’ve got limited recording time in the studio. We have returned to Sonic Train Studios and Andy because it is very, as said, comfortable and great to work both with him as person/engineer/co-producer as in his studio and also this time with his co-worker Olof Bergren. We have built a strong partnership where both parties are pleased and work very effectively together. We are both driven to constantly take this a step further and with Andy as co-producer it gives us a lot and we push ourselves constantly to the ultimate. It has never been said though that it is the only studio for King Of Asgard it’s just the way it has turned out and the future will show where the next turn will take us. Andy is an awesome dude who has the right tools for us as a band to use and thus to accomplish what we want to achieve.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing songs inspired by Norse mythology? Do you find it at all limiting?
Well, as we never limited ourselves in just covering that subject it’s never been any problem and neither it’s been limiting our ways of writing beyond the this specific path. Sure, our name, King Of Asgard of course tells another story but we feel we don’t want to get stuck in just that small conceptual path but rather write whatever we feel like doing. I’m pretty sure though our main and greatest influence and inspirational source, lyrically as well as figuratively, will be close to Norse Mythology but with widened perspective and excursions beyond that specific area of interest. So it’s no difficulty, at least up until now, writing songs on mythology. On Karg, there are just two songs derived out of Norse Mythology. There are traces and parables throughout the whole album, but each song is its own and are more or less telling other stories still under the banner of the King.
What would you say is the biggest misconception metal fans have of Norse mythology?
Oops, don’t think I even thought about this before really and thus I’ve no clue. One thing that comes to mind, though, is rather what people in general think of the subject when used in metal. Along with its symbols and such, I often or rather occasionally believe it automatically turns out being linked to xenophobia often due to misunderstood use and/or misuse or plain wrong perception of the actual matter. Anyway, we’ve never encountered such troubles so no worries from our side. But hey, one thing… the viking helmets never had any horns sticking out the sides [laughs]. Must be the answer to your question!
Despite Karg being the band’s third album, King Of Asgard has yet to tour the U.S. When (if at all) can we expect King Of Asgard to make its live debut stateside?
Of course this is something we really would like to happen! Our overall live activity has, unfortunately, been very low due to several reasons which of course is a pity not the least for our fans. None as sorry as us. Anyway, setting sail for Vinland and the the rest would sure be awesome. Bring us your offers! King Of Asgard crave for the stateside debut be sure.