Einherjer - North Star review




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Reviewer:
7.5

50 users:
7.52
Band: Einherjer
Album: North Star
Release date: February 2021


01. The Blood And The Iron
02. Stars
03. West Coast Groove
04. Ascension
05. Higher Fire
06. Echoes In Blood
07. Listen To The Graves
08. Chasing The Serpent


At Odin's table in Valhalla, you will find the "einherjar", the slain warriors who died in battle. Einherjer from Haugesund, Norway are one of the Viking metal pioneers. They have been at the forefront of the movement since 1993 with a string of albums balancing between black and folk metal. 25 years after their cult album Dragon of the North, North Star sees the Norwegian combo rejoin forces with Napalm Records for another round of Norse mythology-infused folk-influenced heavy metal music.

As is evident on the single "The Blood and the Iron", the musicians are still on top of their game in terms of crafting folkish and catchy tunes shrouded in a brooding atmosphere. Pelts, swords and face-paint aside, you should expect the usual mid-tempo blackened yet groovy heavy metal songs with ice-cold vocals. If you are familiar with their previous effort "Norrøne Spor", this is just the natural evolution. Time may have gone by, but Frode "Grimar" Glesnes (bass, vocals) and Gerhard "Ulvar" Storesund (drums) are still the engine of Einherjer. They are well complemented by Ole Sønstabø and Tom Enge on guitars. Over the years, Einherjer have recorded songs either in their native Norwegian or in English. North Star features English lyrics only.

If the North Star provides guidance to lost men at sea, here it seems it has guided the musicians away from black elements and moved them towards a more traditional heavy metal sound. Tracks such as "Stars" or "Chasing the Serpent" would fit nicely on any Accept album albeit the vocals. As a general observation, there is a surprising lack of blackness here. The rough edge of their music has been smoothed quite a bit, for better or for worse, that is for you to decide. Nevertheless, each song has its own appeal. "West Coast Groove" - the west coast of Norway that is - does the trick with its mix of Nordic references, enjoyable bass groove, and that insidious guitar riff. The meat of North Star is made up of "Ascension", "Higher Fire" and "Echoes in Blood", which are the heavier tracks that fans will revel in.

Polaris - the North Star - is a triple star system, which could explain why there is no single direction here. There is a comprehensive blend of musical influences. Overall the album has a softer edge, more diversity, a more direct approach to metal, and less punch than Norrøne Spor. North Star is a different sort of album for Einherjer and I happen to enjoy it. At the end of the day, they are paying homage to their past while looking onward.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 25.02.2021 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

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Comments

Comments: 2   Visited by: 61 users
26.02.2021 - 15:28
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Will listen this one, good and big caliber band, never bad
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.02.2021 - 23:10
Chidder

I would give this album solid 8/10. The album is very diverse: "The Blood and the Iron" is little black-metalish, "Stars" are more heavy, "West Coast Groove catchy, "Higher Fire" is almost hard rock (great solo!) and "Ascension"... Well, "Ascension" is just perfect. People don't get it becouse they think that viking-metal means death or black - Einherjer is not Unleashed or Amon Amarth. They were ALWAYS more into heavy, more melodic stuff.
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