Ymir's Blood - _Blood of the Ice Giant_
(Archaic Sound, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (8.5 out of 10)
_Blood of the Ice Giant_ is the most shameless Bathory rip-off in existence, and that's actually great. The only thing different is that Ymir's Blood are Finnish, not Swedish. But hey, nobody's perfect -- except for this album, maybe. Because _Blood of the Ice Giant_ is simply what heavy metal represents for its avid followers, or what it should have been standing for, before being tainted by whatever heavy metal has been tainted by. This album is preposterously epic, unimaginably heavy, and it accurately portrays all of heavy metal's clich├ęs and its magic -- so in that context, it is flawless.

Ymir's Blood resurrect Quorthon's musical corpse from its recent grave and infuse it with electric powers that had been reserved only for Bathory themselves in their grandest and most epic of moments. Huge and thundering drum sound pushes the flawless riffs onwards as the vocalist does his best to sound like Quorthon, rest his soul. The riffs are all Viking metal derived, sans the cheesiness, and the landscapes one conjures in the mind's eye are in accord with the snow-and-ice image portrayed on the cover.

The music's pace is generally slow and plodding, just the way we like it; a velocity that enhances the majestic, powerful and colossal atmosphere prevailing throughout the album. If you're a fan of Bathory's mid-era albums, starting from _Blood, Fire, Death_, through _Hammerheart_, to _Twilight of the Gods_, this album is contemporary Bathory worship like you've never heard before, and should satisfy your hunger for that particular and singular heavy metal aesthetic. If you've never actually been able to get one of the aforementioned classics, then it is mandatory for you to purchase _Blood of the Ice Giant_; if you won't, you're missing out a real sonic treat.

If there had been an originality showdown between contemporary bands, this album would have been ranked the lowest in that race. But standing alone, or in the context of who's been able to revive the true sound of Bathory's Viking-themed, gigantic and noble mid-era sound, _Blood of the Ice Giant_ surely wins the grand prize.

If you love extremely good heavy metal, this album is for you -- a monument of excellence, the definite answer to your children and grandchildren when asked why you love heavy metal so much; you can go and tell them: "this is why, my beloved ones, this is why..."

Contact: http://ymirsblood.bandcamp.com/

(article published 2/5/2015)

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