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Einherjer - Norrøne Spor

Norrøne Spor
by Chris Hawkins at 03 December 2018, 8:37 PM

Norrøne Spor” is the eighth full-length recording from Viking Metal mainstays EINHERJER.  Founded in 1993, the band has been instrumental in perpetuating the renaissance of Viking culture in Metal.  Surely, this has been a domino effect as Vikings have expanded beyond the ballads and hymns of Quorthorn into television shows and commercials.  Seriously, though, EINHERJER are proud progenitors of their unique heritage honoring it with respect and reverence at every turn.  A twenty-five-year career speaks to the band’s dedication and mettle.

Throughout their career, EINHERJER have had a duality running through their sound as some albums have a large folk element while others represent the more Extreme Metal side of their sound.  “The Spirit of a Thousand Years,” first of the eleven songs contained within, lays out the battle plan that subscribes more to the full-on assault of the band’s Metal side.  It turns out to be a mid-paced exercise full of aggression and polished smoothly.  The following track, “Mine Våpen Mine Ord,” has a more laid-back approach.  It is a slick, demonstrative groove that holds the song together.  This is accented by a well-rounded, if not massive bass line that jumps out of the shadows to overtake the listener.  Dynamics surely play a leading role in the development of these songs.  Clearly, this is a band playing for their love of the art by which they have developed their exclusive skill set.

The fifth track, “Mot Vest,” is a raging song that begins almost identically to W.A.S.P.’s seminal classic, “Love Machine”.  While this was obviously not purposely done, it is a clear description nonetheless.  Again, EINHERJER have composed a hymn of modernity to praise the days of old.  There is a running head-bang-able theme present in all the tracks that is fully espoused here.  The following track, “Spre Vingene,” begins like a wild-eyed berserker blitzing the battlefield.  A Black Metal-like tremolo-picked riff forms the basis for the song.  One can clearly hear the BATHORY influence in this song.  There is that same eerie feeling conveyed.  Of particular note is the ending of the song which is unprecedentedly haunting with the vocals screaming and then the main chord progression played solemnly at the end by one solitary guitar.  The review would be incomplete without mentioning the final track, a cover of MOTORHEAD’s classic, “Deaf Forever”.  Covers can be hit or miss, but be assured, the band perform their version while invoking the spirit of Lemmy and retaining that sense of class throughout.  It smokes!

Throughout this recording there is a clear theme of heritage conveyed through a refined regiment of Metal.  One can imagine celebrating a victorious battle with brothers inside a long house with toasts being made of mead and ale to Thor and Odin.  If only more of us were so in touch with our heritage, then perhaps the insecurities that lie beneath the surface and contribute to so many social ills could be squashed.

Any versed in the second wave of Black Metal can identify the band having come of age during this period.  While technology and gear have come a long wa, there is a simply unmistakable sound that is Norwegian.  The guitars come across organically with just enough gain for their contribution to the whole and allowing long, over-arching chords to ring out as profoundly as the tremolo picking employed elsewhere.  The tones are thick, juicy like a choice cut of meat, clearly the main course on the musical menu.  The rest of the instrumentation forms a solid whole with a powerful rhythm section and tenacious vocals.  It is beyond inspiring to witness a band proliferate Metal music and culture with such a finely-tooled, singular vision of spreading new sagas in celebration of the times of old.  Surely, Quorthon is looking down from Valhalla, smiling upon the career of these legends.

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  8
Memorability:  7
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. The Spirit of a Thousand Years
2. Mine Våpen Mine Ord
3. Fra Konge Te Narr
4. Kill the Flame
5. Mot Vest
6. Spre Vingene
7. The Blood Song
8. Døden Tar Ingen Fangar
9. Tapt Uskyld
10. Ave Djupare Røtter
11. Deaf Forever

Aksel Herøel - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ole Sønstabø- Lead Guitar
Frode Glesnes- Bass, Lead Vocals
Gerhard Storesund - Drums and Samples

Record Label: Indie Recordings


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