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Baldrs Draumar – Njord

Baldrs Draumar
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 December 2022, 4:46 AM

From their EPK, “Njord” tells the epic tale of a group of Frisians who refused baptism and stayed true to the old ways and Gods. Despite violent Frankish expansionist politics that advocated a shallow new religion, in Frisia, an area with a deeply rooted pagan believe, a group who refused Christianity rather chose the path of the unknown. The album has 12 songs.

“Skalden” is the first. The opening tones are a bit tense but give way to a charming melody. The vocals are sung in the band’s native language and are very pretty, over a bed of soft but rousing acoustical guitars and folk instruments. “Eastre” is another spirited song with great vocal harmonies, and some ominous thunder in the background. The harmonies are extended over several bars to increase their effectiveness. “Njord” features more traditional folk melodies that are both solemn and stimulating. Again, the vocals harmonies and the soft drum rhythms are the key to the sound. “Fan Keardel en Skiep” is a shorter offering and reminds me of something you might hear touring Ireland in a small pub.

“Akrabjerch” features some keyboards to go along with the folky sounds. The vocal performance is especially strong in this song, along with the dreamy background elements…smooth and calm. “De leste Fries” is more melancholy in nature, with a warm but somewhat sad sound that is developed nicely as it rolls on. The vocal harmonies are strong once again. “Sieletocht” is the first song where we have some harsh vocals carrying the sound. Strangely, they fit in with the Folk instruments quite well. It’s like a tale that you might pass on from generation to generation over a fire at night. “Wat nea fergiet” features a positive and energetic sound that makes you want to get up, grab a weapon, and defend your way of life vigorously.

Overall, although some of the song sounded similar, I enjoyed the album. I think anyone who has European roots or enjoys some strong storytelling would like this listening experience. The Folk instruments are used properly, to augment the guitars and vocals, and the vocals are the highlight of the album. It was a gallop through the lush country sides of Ireland, where everyone that passes you greets you with warmth.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Skalden
2. Eastre
3. Njord
4. Fan Keardel en Skiep
5. Thus op See
6. Akrabjerch
7. De lêste Fries
8. Sieletocht
9. Wat nea fergiet
10. Jul
Zuypschuyt – Bass
Dondervuyscht – Drums
Vuurschpuwer – Guitars
Wildgeraesch – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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