Einherjer need no introduction. This Norwegian band was formed back in 1993 and was one of the pioneers of viking metal. In their first works they had some black metal influences, which slowly disappeared with the passing of time. With the albums “Norwegian Native Art” in 2000 and “Blot” in 2003 (their best album in my opinion) Einherjer seemed to have found a more solid ground, building a very unique, personal and characteristic sound, but in 2004 the band announced its end! Five years later, in the end of 2008 they reunited for some shows and later they started working on a new highly anticipated album. Finally 8 years after “Blot”, Einherjer’s fifth full length album is out.
From the first listening of “Norrøn”, it’s obvious that we deal with a 100% Einherjer album. Their sound, their style, everything reminds their previous work. Even the line-up is exactly the same. This sounds great at first, since “Blot” was an excellent album, but on the other hand it leaves me thinking that these 8 years passed without any reason. If there was a huge difference or a musical redirection, I could understand this break, but the band changed almost nothing… Anyway their music is very good and after all it’s all that matters. “Norrøn” contains only 6 songs, but it lasts for over 41 minutes, since two of the songs are quite long. Their ultra heavy and epic guitar riffing continues to dominate their sound. Rhythmic and lead guitars actually carry all the melodies, while synths have a more accompanying role. They have also some instrumental parts, where synths and acoustic instruments take the lead, creating an epic (and sometimes folk) soundtrack-like atmosphere. The band continues in its characteristic mid tempo rhythm, which is a bit slowed this time and Frode’s amazing vocals balance again between brutal and epic heavy ones, in his own “trademark” style. The album opens with the 13 minute track “Norrøn Kraft” the slower song of the album and continues with a typical Einherjer song “Naglfar”. The third song is a cover on Ym:stammen’s “Alu Alu Laukar” and the 4th track is “Varden Brenne”, another typical Einherjer song. The album closes with the 8 minute saga “Atter På Malmtings Blodige Voll” and the amazing epic ballad “Balladen Om Bifrost”. This time all lyrics are in Norwegian, speaking as always about Norse Viking legends.
“Norrøn” is an album that will not disappoint their fans, especially the ones who appreciated their latest era. Einherjer have a very powerful sound with a blasting production and their Viking metal is very heavy and epic. I am expecting though something much better from the band in the future; a step forward… Of course the album itself is very good, but Einherjer have raised the bar for themselves very high in the past. The album is released by Indie Recordings in a beautiful digipak with a wonderful cover artwork. You can get more info and music in their official and facebook pages.