Ereb Altor

House Of Metal - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Ereb Altor is one of those bands at the House Of Metal festival, that I had never run into before. I may have seen the name around at some point, but I’ve never heard them.
Now, with the combination of having their drummer, Jonas ‘Tord’ Lindström, being our neighbour at the hotel, and having friends recommend the band, we figured it was time to check them out.
The only thing we had to go on, was that they were said to be part of that utterly undefinable genre known as Viking metal, and that they were slightly like Amon Amarth.

“Hello Umeå, it’s nice to be here!”
- Crister ‘Mats’ Olsson (vocals/guitar)

At the start of the show, the band was standing with their backs to the audience in relative darkness (relative, as the Studion stage was never properly lighted), and out of the speakers an ominous intro could be heard, consisting seemingly of deep drums, horns, and ravens calling.
After this had gone on for a while, giving the growing crowd time to settle in the right mood, the band members turned around and went straight into the first song of the set. It took me slightly by surprise at first, as what I heard had nothing at all to do with Amon Amarth, and the style of melodic death metal they play. Ereb Altor, if compared to anything, seemed much more akin to the style of a band like Moonsorrow. Some might say Bathory, but I’m not familiar enough with that band to make the comparison.
The music seemed to be focused mostly on creating an atmosphere of impending doom, and consentrated more on the mood than recognisable riffs. Mats, as he goes by in the band, switched between clean and grim vocals, and seemed to control both to an acceptable level, but it wasn’t something that struck any particular chord with me. The fact that they were mixed just a little bit too low didn’t help of course.

“Are you ready to follow us into the darkness? Then let me see your hands!”
- Mats (vocals/guitar)

Their style of music wasn’t inviting to a particularly action-filled listening experience, and neither did Ereb Altor inspire wilderness into the crowd. The front held some stray headbangers, as it always seems to do, but other than that, this was one of those shows where the audience mostly hung back, and took in what they were listening to. A few, spread singers could be heard from time to time, but overall, I can’t say the crowd gave the band very much to work with, and vice versa.
For my own sake, Ereb Altor didn’t manage to impress at all, and it didn’t phase me that we had to leave early for the next gig.
With that said, I would like to add that their music has made much more sense listening to it at home afterwards. Maybe they didn’t have a good day, or maybe it’s just not music meant to be discovered live? Either way, if you enjoy your Viking metal (oh, how I despise that meaningless term) cold, depressing, and atmospheric, check them out. Just remember to listen to the music before you attend the show.

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