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Hjallarhorn - Iron Clad Soldiers (CD)

Hjallarhorn
Iron Clad Soldiers
by Grigoris Chronis at 07 September 2009, 12:44 PM

Traditional Metal made in Norway? Well, this is not something we often come across. In the land portraying the most generous primitive Black Metal acts, HJALLARHORN steps in - after three demo attempts - with their Iron Clad Soldiers debut CD and eagerly await for some primal recognition. Truth is this first album is quite interesting and credit may not be that far…
HJALLARHORN, formed in 1993 but just currently reformed to try their own piece of Metal fame, mix two genres initially thought as quite distant but overall not having much to separate. The original fury of NWOBHM mixed with the 80s American/Canadian Speed/Thrash relentless is quite the general picture in this album. To add more facts, I'd dare saying HJALLARHORN songwriting scope goes even back to the 70s 'metallic' Rock recipes, while a shot of 'celtic' or 'viking' or 'pagan' or whatever aroma is not out of the question too (in slower songparts). Overall, a mix of early IRON MAIDEN's and quite early METALLICA's raw moments can act as a draft/brief description of HJALLARHORN's music.
To expand: tons of riffs over here, really tons. The production, however, is not that Bay Area-ish in order to offer neat Thrash moments but rather steps on the Kill 'Em All vagabond ambience. At moments I also recalled SLOUGH FEG's emotional minutes (both music and sound wise). The vocals are not the strongest scenario you'll come across in Iron Clad Soldiers, on the other side. Nearly achieving their aim, I think there's more exercise to be done in order to access the passionate metalhead's must-s. On this side again(!), I can really feel what Dani Nilsen tries to cry out in songs like Iron Clad Soldier or Eye Of The Storm and dunno if the unfulfilled skills section is a certain drawback for (really, what does that name mean?) HJALLARHORN.
I don't know if the atmosphere depicted on Iron Clad Soldiers can be understood by younger metalheads, and that's no sign of rudeness, trust me. It's just that HJALLARHORN offers a piece of music so deep in the archetypal Metal standards - without even being concerned if it's doom, or speed, or power related - and for this reason and only (let aside the fact that this album has enough wonderful moments and no single filler) Clad Soldiers is an effort really worth your attention. It's not modern at all, of course, but it's not - so called - a part of the 'true' Metal fashion, either. Songs like e.g. The Machinist do not fit to trends anyway…May be hard to believe it, but this is a classic Metal album boasting full personality.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Battle Of Repulsion
Iron Clad Soldier
Brigade
Blood And Black Lace
The Changeling
The Horn
Scathed And Torn
Eye Of The Storm
The Machinist
Lineup:
Jonas Eid - Bass
Kjetil Krogvold - Drums
Martin Krogh - Guitar
Dani Nilsen - Voclas, Guitar
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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