Asgaard are rightly considered veterans of the Polish metal scene, having been founded back in 1994 and releasing five full lengths between 1998 and 2004, before a first prolonged period of stagnation. While the 2012 album already showed a certain departure from the metal heritage in favour of a greater melodic impact, after another ten years it’s a gothic mood that predominantly occupies the sound contained in the trio’s comeback entitled What If… The proven experience of the historical members Hetzer (Bartłomiej Kostrzewa) and Flumen (Wojciech Kostrzewa), already joined on the occasion of the second album in 2000 by vocalist Quazarre (Przemysław Olbryt), allows Asgaard to enter the crowded gothic dark arena, seriously risking to overwhelm the field: the eight songs that make up What If… are a jumble of emotions and airy, catchy sounds, equally endowed with innate charm and depth. When some traces of the past re-emerge (the sturdiness of Blind Man’s Buff) or experimental ideas prevail (the electronics of Not Ever Again!) the less compelling moments of the whole work are revealed, although the quality needle is always well oriented upwards, but it’s clear that irresistible choruses like those exhibited, for example, in the opener Sisyphus have a very different specific weight. On the other hand, Asgaard seem to give their best in the most intimate moments, where the songs interpreted in their mother tongue (the wonderful Sny na jawie) stand out more than in English. Quazarre has an evocative timbre like few others, and the couple Hetzer / Flumen have an easy time in imposing their instrumental and compositional expertise, thanks to which they give a work that can receive unconditional appreciation from many groups of listeners.

2022 – Wormholedeath / The Orchard Inc. / Sony Music Entertainment / Szataniec