Vera : Swedish Viking outfit Grimner exists of musicians with proper work ethics. In 2014 we enjoyed the debut ’Blodshymner’, two years later followed by ’Frost Mot Eld’ and now their third album ‘Vanadrottning’ is ready to prolong the expanding success. In the meantime they also released some EP’s and this new album was preceded by the singles ‘En Fallen Jätte’ (see the video clip) and ‘Freja Vakar’ in order to tease pagan metal fans for the real thing, a full length album.
Again this Swedish band sings in their vernacular language and for the lyrics they took inspiration from Nordic mythology. This time the concept focuses on Gullveig, the queen of the Vanir who was buried alive by Odin’s hordes, but always resurrected. Musically they continue the direction of the predecessor with more compact songs than in the early days, catchy and inciting. Flutist Johan Rydberg constantly flutters through the sturdy, battle-like songs. These songs feature the ferocious growls of founding member/guitarist Ted Sjulmark, but we also hear a lot of clean heathen chants. These are done by the new rhythm guitarist Martin Welcel and he is doing a great job. The title track kicks off the album with pagan drums and symphonic arrangements, but soon it cuts loose with fetching rhythms. Sometimes they insert intermezzos on piano or acoustic guitars and they do not shun to play a marvelous classic guitar solo now and then. Still we like to mention influences of Eluveitie (but without female vocals), Finntroll (just listen to the swinging rhythms in ‘En Vilja Av Järn’), Ensiferum (the interaction between harsh and clean vocals plus catchy choruses) and Månegarm (not only due to the Swedish lyrics). Both singles might be the catchiest tunes, yet all songs are easygoing tracks for every pagan metal fan, without falling into cheap cheerful partying, with the danceable ‘Dödens Dans’ as exception. The band already has a firm amount of gigs in the near future and they will be able to expand their success with this excellent album in the pocket.