Nima : Forge is a Swiss band around violinist (!) Skjöldur that has just released its debut album with 'Heimdall'. As the title already suggests, Nordic mythology plays a major role here, and the gentlemen interpret the accompanying atmosphere through melodic pagan/Viking metal. The music is generally slow and doomy and since the violins play a significant role in the whole, it is also quite folky here and there. The music of these men is reminds of bands such as Summoning and Caladan Brood, but also of Crom and Sleipnir, and thanks to the folk influences also of for example Wolfchant. Although Forge can by no means match these genre and style mates, the gentlemen have succeeded in giving the album a dark, melancholic, epic and heroic atmosphere. Especially the dark keyboards (which by the way are quite dominant in the mix) come across well, despite their simplicity.
Unfortunately, the music does not "blaze" anywhere and I miss the excitement and magic that the aforementioned bands sometimes so brilliantly possess. In addition, production is on the weak side. The guitars are almost inaudible and the emphasis is on the violins and keyboards. All of this makes the music rather tedious and boring in the long run. What really bothers me here however, are the boring, and very monotonous grunts, and the equally boring, uninspired vocal lines. In addition, the vocals have no power whatsoever and eventually get on the nerves. Needless to say that this is at the expense of everything, which also means that the aforementioned atmosphere completely loses its power. All in all, 'Heimdall' has therefore become a boring and mediocre record that does not come further that a few good ideas. With a grunter like Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) or a more black metal-oriented vocalist, but also with an aggressive outburst here and there, the whole would have been a lot more interesting and pleasant. But alas. Potential is certainly present, but there is a lot to be improved if they want to be noticed.