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Einherjer - Av Oss, For Oss Award winner

Einherjer
Av Oss, For Oss
by Erika Kuenstler at 01 November 2014, 11:46 AM

Norway has long had a cultural heritage that has fascinated and inspired many, with tales of bravery and valour, of warriors slain in battle who go on fighting and feasting in Valhalla until the war which ends the world. Within the Metal world, there are few who have been so outrightly influenced by this legacy than the unsung heroes of Viking Metal, EINHERJER. Standing as evidence to this is their extensive back-catalogue, which this week sees a new chapter in their genre-defining work, with the release of their sixth full-length album “Av Oss, For Oss”. With the release of their previous album “Norrøn” some fans were alienated, leaving many wondering which path EINHERJER would take with this release.

Starting off with the sound of waves crashing on a beach, a march-like melody creeps in before slowly conquering everything in its path with a relentless rhythm that sounds like a clock beating away the seconds of your life. “Fremad” is about as trademark EINHERJER as it gets, making for a very good intro that provides an unsettling yet expectant atmosphere for the rest of the album. This is followed by “Hammer i kors”, a track containing all the glory and might that marked EINHERJER’s earlier works whilst adding a degree of growth and sophistication that sees the band soaring to completely new heights. Frode’s characteristic raspy vocal style compliments the more First Wave Black influences seen on this album perfectly, whilst the drums provide an amazing groove that you can’t help but love, especially in tracks like “Nidstong” and “Nord og ner”, whilst in contrast to this, “Nornene” takes a more melancholic approach. Ending off the album with the title track “Av Oss, For Oss”, this starts out more serenely before blooming into an uplifting song that soothes your soul with its hypnotic swinging tempo. Clocking in at over 10 minutes, this is by far the longest track on the album, allowing EINHERJER to play with some interesting variations on the main melody, although this can get somewhat long-winded before the song finally melts away with the same militaristic march contained in the intro, bringing the album back full circle.

 “Av Oss, For Oss” is a widely varying album, riddled with unexpected twist and turns that never cease to capture your attention, and leave you with a feeling of spellbound fascination for all that the album stands for. I also particularly like that the entire album is done in Norwegian: it suits the music so much better than English lyrics do. However, the mixing can be slightly too fuzzy in parts, especially in the intro. Whilst the roughness does add a certain texture to the music that undeniably fits in very well with EINHERJER’s sound, it can be a bit overwhelmingly coarse at times.

Nevertheless, this is beyond doubt my favourite EINHERJER album to date. Everything on this album is about striking the perfect balance. It is simplistic and says everything that needs to be said without waxing verbose, but shows a very mature aspect of the band too; “Av Oss, For Oss” goes back to EINHERJER’s roots whilst still maintaining a modern atmosphere; and it incorporates a wide range of influences without sacrificing any of their classical Viking and Pagan sound. All in all an excellent and well-rounded album that you will enjoy the first time you hear it, and absolutely love on the second listen!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Fremad
  2. Hammer i kors
  3. Nidstong
  4. Hedensk oppstandelse
  5. Nord og ner
  6. Nornene
  7. Trelldom
  8. Av oss, for oss
Lineup:
Frode Glesnes – Guitar, Bass fx, Vocals
Aksel Herløe – Lead Guitar, Bass fx, Backing Vocals
Gerhard Storesund – Drums, Samples
Record Label: Indie Recordings
     


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