Sound studio

ALBUM REVIEW: Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands Soundtrack (Extended) – Kalandra

As their ethereal voices echo through mountain ranges and across the winding vastness of Norwegian fjords, KALANDRA immerse us in the depths of Nordic Scandinavia, filled with the magic, myth and power of the gods and goddesses of Asgard, Vanir and Hel. Composed as the official Strategic Sidescroll soundtrack Kingdom Two Crowns: Northern Lands game, the album sees the band take on a new challenge, expanding and developing the game’s soundtrack to give it a celestial Nordic feel.

The players of Kingdom Two Crowns: Northern Lands can unleash the various abilities of Norse gods, control powerful mythical forces while building Viking-inspired weaponry and solving puzzles. Working their own sound in a game world that already has its own myths and lore adored by its players was a challenge in itself, but KALANDRA kissed him. In only their second studio album, the band have crafted a soundtrack worthy of Odin’s mighty hall, Valhalla.

The world was first introduced KALANDRAthe talent of to write songs loaded with ethereal and evocative melodies wrapped in immensely immersive and evocative soundscapes on their first release Line. With that in mind, KALANDRA ensured that they incorporated these essential elements of their sound into the Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands Soundtrack. As a result, the album delivers a beautifully holistic listening experience for gamers and non-gamers alike, delivering an epic journey through the depths of the Nordic lands and back.

Each song blends into the next, interacting and evolving together using the album’s central theme to create something that engulfs your imagination with picturesque scenes of the far north. The group has also collaborated with Norwegian folk musicians John Stenerson and Kenneth Link to bring elements of older Scandinavian instruments such as Hurdy-Gurdy, Nyckelharpa and Moraharpa. It adds an extra layer of depth and authenticity to an album that is already multi-textured in the richest and most exquisite way. With the game set in 1000 AD, the folkloric elements help give the music a distinct sense of place and time, in a cold world where things are uncertain.

The album is very dynamic and dramatic in its approach; In order to adapt to the game’s timescales, the band had to expand and do new mixes to rearrange the original score into what they wanted it to be while weaving their own sound together. Each song changes and evolves depending on the focus of the game at that particular moment, but it works phenomenally well as a standalone album without the visuals of the game. To be able to create something of this magnitude that gives players the same experience and non-gamers need something special and KALANDRA apparently succeeded effortlessly.

Skogtroll is the most upbeat song on the album, with its flute melody reminiscent of a mead party song, while Ferden imbues you with a spirit of adventure and wonder, urging you to get outside and soak up the magic and wonders of the world. Apart from that, the album is hauntingly beautiful and eerie atmosphere; Morke Skoger take a WARDRUNA-style with its pounding rhythms and moody string instruments, while Synnavind feels inspired by the likes of the Irish singer ENYA and Irish folk band CLANNAD. With its choral voice and mystical instrumentation, it’s a quiet moment in an otherwise epic heroic tale.

The album’s lead single Helheim offers the preview closet to the contemporary KALANDRA found on Line. Temporarily building up the atmosphere before exploding into life with deep vocal harmonies and soaring lead melodies, the band uses different dynamics to create an action-packed song. In comparison, the album is closer Valkyrja is a beautifully eldritch choral song that will have you feeling like the valkyries are carrying your battle-worn spirit to the Allfather himself. Likewise, the opening of the album Eikthyrnir stages as you can feel Katrine StenbekkThe enchanting voice carries the icy winds of winter.

Simply put, this is an album to get lost in and love with all your heart. Whether you play Kingdom Two Crowns: Northern Lands or venture into your imagination, there’s no better soundtrack than this. Enchanting and captivating at the same time, KALANDRA have shown that they are not only brilliant songwriters, but also masterful composers.

Rating: 8/10

Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands Soundtrack (Extended) is set to be released on April 8 via By Norse.

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