Country: France
Title: From Despair to Rebirth
Label: M&O Music
Year: 2021
Style: Viking Metal 

Contrary to my expectations, this is not a newly-formed band as one would probably think after the first audition of this album, nor a South East Asia-based band like the band name would suggest at first glance, but let's take take things one by one. Pitkan Matkan was founded in 2009 and this one is the band's second album, 7 years since they debuted with Forward!, a self-released material. From Despair to Rebirth is made of 11 tracks and clocks 45 minutes of playing time, but unfortunately, although the band has more than a decade of activity under-belt, it does not convince (at least it didn't convince me). They are playing an incipient form of Viking Metal, when the genre first detached itself from Death Metal and Folk Metal, it's basically a Death Metal with melodic touches and viking topics in their lyrics, and it sounds like something straight from the early 00's or even end of the '90's (heck there's even a female vocals passage on the track Magical Lake that's straight from the end '90's Gothic Doom Death scene), it doesn't have too much originality or catchiness to it, it even sounds chaotic on some tracks, like they tried to bring in as many twists and turns that in the end it didn't went so well, that's why we'll hear Thrash Metal, Groove Metal and even Heavy Metal elements throughout the album but not balanced nor mixed accurately to sound like the band has a definite idea of where they are heading towards. The mix is also somehow misleading as most of the time the spotlight is on the vocals only, the instruments are somehow hidden behind these otherwise massive, commanding, semi-growling vocals. Unfortunately I couldn't say I will revisit this album, but if you're into old-school (let's call it this way) Viking Metal, give it a chance, you might like it better.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 5/10


Review to be published in the upcoming issue of Slowly We Rot print magazine!