Ereb Altor is a Swedish band formed in 2003 by members of the epic doom metal outfit Forlorn. The band's first few albums were lauded for their seamless weaving of the Viking era of Bathory with traditional epic doom metal. With their third album, Gastrike, and follow up, Fire Meets Ice, Ereb Altor abandoned the trappings of epic doom for a more black metal influenced sound. Nattramn, the band's fifth full length, released in 2015, continued in that vein, focusing on merging their epic Viking metal with cold black metal atmospherics.
That brings us to 2017, and the release of Ereb Altor's magnus opus, Ulfven. Bathory and hidden Swedish folk melodies remain the band's largest influence here, which is quite evident with the adventurous pacing, crunchy riffs and frequent epic clean vocals. The album mixes heavy handed segments of galloping riffs and crashing percussion, and more nuanced melodies driven forth by a wall of keyboards. It's that essence of balance that makes Ulfven work so well, backed up by a very powerful production. The clean vocal melodies sound stronger and more confident this time around as well while the harsh and raspy roars are more furious and raging.
It's pretty clear at this point that Ereb Altor isn't keen to return to the sounds of their first two albums, but the music on Ulfven proves that the band is really blazing their own trail. Sure, they still sound a bit like Bathory, but it comes through as revelry and nostalgia rather than a blatant aping of Quorthon.