Vera : The sturdy Norwegian bards from Einherjer are back in great form again since their amazing comeback album ’Nørren’ in 2011 heralded their second era of conquest. In 2014 it was followed by ’Av Oss, For Oss’, there was a re-recorded version of their debut album ’Dragons Of The North’ and obviously they also started playing live again on stages in many countries.
Now that harsh and cold seasons are coming up, it is time to shine a light on their – in the meantime ninth – album ‘Norrøne Spor’, which is a new tribute to their Nordic ways of living. The songs for the last previous albums were always written alone, now band leader Frode Glesnes and drummer Gerhard Storesund literally joined forces in the same room to write ten new Viking epics. Compact songs of four to five minutes length, with the somewhat longer ‘As Djupare Røtter’ as epic finale. We agree with Glesnes that we hear the classic, well-known (and beloved) sound of these long time running Vikings, familiar but no stagnation at all. For instance the clean (harmony) vocals have increased and the enchanting guitar solos verge even more than before to classic heavy metal, even with a wide range of arpeggios. It is a true joy to listen to the album several times and take the time to let it grow. Then you will soon discover that the songs are very fetching.
There happens to be an addictive drive in the choruses of ‘Fra Konge Te Narr’, the single ‘Kill The Flame’ and the rather slow paced ‘The Blood Song’. Typical (slightly dissonant) guitars and the blackened eerie vocals of Frode, sometimes storytelling, other times proud and robust, reign in the opener ‘The Spirit Of A Thousand Years’. Even more compelling is one of the singles (and video clip) ‘Mine Våpen Mine Ord’, while they always play ultimately tight with magnificent guitar solos in every song. I think we must hail newcomer Ole Sønstabø for that. He must have had a guitar teacher with sense for emotive playing. As you notice, most of the songs are in Norwegian language, making the entire thing even more grim, but three songs have English lyrics. Do we hear some keyboards (even organ) in ‘Tapt Uskyld’? Anyways, Einherjer has created, even with harmony vocals, choirs and other additions, a true stalwart heavy metal album and we did not expect anything else. Who can resist that epic final track ‘Av Djupare Røtter’ which begins with drums and fluttering guitar sounds and haunts you as slower track with momentum, including – once more – sensitive and this time slow guitar leads? The true Viking fan will abundantly take this five-star musical dinner to him, again and again!