Viking metalers Forest King are set to release their debut album Lore Born on June 20th.   The concept of Forest King started in 2012 when guitarist Tyler Haagenson set out to adapt the ideas and ways of vikings into modern day realization through music.  Their style and influence stretching from black metal to folk music, Forest King isn’t like anything heard before but is everything we have always wanted.

The rolling thunder, melodic battle cry, and groove laden beating of drums of the first track “Ond” immediately sets the stage of what is to come on Lore Born.  It is quite literally ‘love at first listen’, not just because it sounds frickin’ fantastic (because it does) but every sound is purposely placed to transport the listener to another time, another place.  We have all transformed into modern day vikings and the second track “For the Folk” is when we start doing some viking shit.  The track almost has a Celtic flare to it, like Dropkick Murphy’s meets Fear Factory with Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) as frontman, strange?  It works brilliantly.  It’s a celebration song with lots of mead, some savage meat shredding, and dropping some thrall panties.  The sixth track, “Heathen”, is as heavy as Ragnar Lothbrok’s balls.  If Slayer were Scandinavian and blessed by the Gods with not only brutality but groove as well, this track would basically be their breakout hit.   The final track on Lore Born, “Who Will Write Your Saga”, starts and ends with balls to the wall speed because what better way to end an album, than Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) barreling down on your ass?  There basically isn’t a better way but to say ‘TURN LEFT JIMMIE, TURN LEFT!’  To which Forest King will respond, “Left is the only way we turn.”

Lore Born is flawless; from the moment the ship sets sail it is absolute musical perfection.  The production quality of this album is extraordinary and the mixing and mastering spectacular.  The speed, ferocity, and technical guitar prowess exhibited throughout Lore Born by Haagenson will leave listeners breathless and in awe of his skill (and wondering how the hell his fingers are still intact).  And the fiery depth and emotive viciousness of Stalker’s deep growling vocals remarkable, especially when considering unclean vocals are typically not smooth or exciting.  Let’s take a minute to talk about the bass throughout the album, bass is that ‘behind the scenes element’ of a song (or a band for that matter), it is the unsung hero; only noticed when it is missing….but I’m about to say it loud and proud, ‘sweet Cheezus, the bass is phenomenal on this album!’  The studio bassist Forest King used for Lore Born is a fucking beast and brought this beautiful work of art to life.   And let’s not forget the studio drummer, there is a special place in Valhalla for them….their speed and ferocity behind the kit is simply mind boggling.   The only drummer that compares is Gojira’s Mario Duplantier, who is an absolute monster.      

Lore Born is not something expected from a debut; the talent, skill, and quality is that of major label, metal veterans with millions of dollars worth of studio time and a post-production team backing them.   To say Lore Born is impressive is an understatement, so do not miss out when this album releases next week (June 20th).

1. Ond
2. For the Folk
3. Troll Stench
4. Sacred Mead
5. Lore Born
6. Heathen
7. Roots to Rise
8. Winter Within
9. Who Will Write Your Saga

Tyler Haagenson – Guitars
Anthony Stalker – Vocals

Follow Forest King here:


Bloodrock Rating:  5.0 out of 5.0 axes

Written by April Baggins for Bloodrock Media on June 12, 2017