Patience is a virtue. For me, it's a particularly difficult one, because I like instant gratification. I usually love how a piece of music that slowly unfolds or isn't easy to digest makes me feel, but I don't always enjoy the process of getting through to the end. Enter Sweden's King of Asgard, which, if you wanted to put a label on it, could be considered part of the New Wave of Scandinavian Heavy Metal... or not. They are the more brooding cousins of bands like Kvelertak or Ghost, maybe a tad more metal and less rock & roll, but with a decent nod to the more open style as opposed to the annoyingly technical.

Drawing from the dark melodic death metal roots of Amon Amarth, the chaotic dissonance of Unleashed, and even some of the more drone-oriented stoner/doom metal that you might hear from a label like Southern Lord, King of Asgard creates a style that is deep in layers, rich in texture, and powerful in all the right places. The imagery of Norse mythology is painted throughout in the lyrics, but the tone of the music is one of foreboding. The mood of the band seems to be overcast, all clouds, all the time. There is melody, for example, tons of it. Yet it seems to be struggling to break free of the layers rather than dancing on top of them. This creates an air of perpetual fog that carries on even through faster breaks or blast beats. The music is heavy in a "holy crap I can't even lift that" sort of way. At times it's oppressive on your spirit, drawing you into a contemplative state. I'm personally drawn more towards the ambience of the song Omma, which is probably the most trance-inducing, meandering track on Karg. But that's just me, I love the shoegaze stuff.

Patience, however, is something that a lot of listeners don't have. The payoff with Karg is worth it, though, especially if you can really listen to this free of distractions. You have to in order to appreciate the full depth of this album. Give it time and several listens on a rainy day, or in the wee hours of the night when you only have your thoughts to keep you company.