Einherjer - _Dragons of the North _
(Napalm Records, 1996)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Okay, all ye lovers of good, stout Viking metal, it's time to raise your ale-horns and drink to the release of Einherjer's full-length debut. (But take care, lest ye get mead in your mighty beard!) I must confess that I've never been real big on the whole Viking thing - but I must also report that this CD contains some really great, original-sounding metal music. Einherjer deals mostly in folk-inspired stop-start guitar riffs played on top of a hard-driving, mid-paced rhythmic foundation and embellished with the occasional melodious bass line or tasteful keyboard jingle. On songs like the title track and the excellent "Slaget Ved Hartsfjord", the results are memorable and impressive - cool lead riffing weaving in and out of a thick fabric of hard beats, crunchy rhythm guitar, and growling bass. "Slaget..." is devilishly, elegantly catchy, yet possesses a very sharp sonic edge. The same can be said for many other tracks on the disk, especially "Forever Empire" and the entrancing "Dreamstorm" (a song sure to mightily please anyone who really likes Enslaved's less furious stuff). Cool riffs abound. Vocals are raspy but generally clear. The production is clear and fairly punchy, with all instruments showing up nicely in the mix. All in all, a great release by a very talented band, playing a potent, decidedly non-trendy style of metal.
(article published 1/2/1997)
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