Sunday, October 16, 2011

After being Battered, Einherjer Is Back!

Another album release this year that was high on my want list was Einherjer's reunion effort "Norron". I've been a long time fan of Einherjer since I bought "Odin Owns Ye All". When I heard they split in 2004 I was saddened. Then I discovered they changed names, and added a couple members to become the thrash act Battered. They released a solid effort under that moniker, and had been quiet since.

Then word came out of Einherjer's reunion and new album and I was stoked. I even thoroughly enjoy "Odin Owns Ye All" which seems to get a bunch of slag. Einherjer play a more groove-laden form of Viking metal after starting in the more traditional blackened base akin to Ensiferum and Thyrfing. To me it made them stand out, much like Tyr's cleaner style of viking metal only rougher around the edges. Einherjer stepped away from being just another viking band rooted in black metal.

What has 6 years and a thrash album later done to the Einherjer sound? Absolutely nothing. "Norron" is a natural progression from 2004's "Blot". Opening with the epic "Norron Kraft", this 13 minute track plods along with a dark and atmospheric rhythm and thunderous flourishes. A solid riff and heavy sound keeps it interesting.

"Naglfar" is similar with a slightly stronger folk edge. More so then normal for Einherjer. "Alu Alu Laukar" is an interesting tune that stands out from the others with driving rhythms riding the line of techno giving us a sense of eagerness. It doesn't quite follow the style of the rest of the album, but that is probably due to it being a cover song. However, it still has a dark urgency to it that is addictive. "Balladen Om Bifrost" closes the album out as a pseudo ballad. Not unlike "A New Earth" from "Odin Owns Ye All", but this song is more epic and beautiful.

I was quite pleased with Einherjer's "Norron". It progresses forward from "Blot" and does not drift from the groove-laden style Einherjer is known for. They simply made it more epic and, I might add, a little darker atmosphere.

If you are a fan, then I see no reason not to enjoy. If you are new to the band, I'd recommend it as solid Viking metal a little different then the bigger names in genre.


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