When I said last month I may have been hasty in proclaiming the new Borknagar album of the year, along comes the new Grimner album and helps me prove my point….. Being hasty that is. Right on the heels of being a top 10 album in 2014 (“Blodshymner”) and my EP of the year for 2015 (“De Kom Från Norr”), the horde of Grimner are poised to release “Frost Mot Eld”.
As the harbinger of the album, the single and video (“Eldhjärta”) should have been a wakeup call for everyone to expect more epicness from them and they have delivered big time. First things first, what I appreciate the most about Grimner is their ability to take chances and do something different but not far removed from previous releases. After 3 EP’s and 1 full length, they are still honing their sound and this allows them to expand and add to the arsenal of many an epic track…..they have not dead ended themselves and gotten to a point where every song sounds the same as the previous.
They have added some new directions, don’t worry it is still Grimner. There are tracks that are thrashier this time around (examples such as “Nordmännens Raseri” or “Enhärjarkväde”) some possibly semi-humppa inspired (“Mörkrets Hem”) and the standard style with a blend of melodic death, viking and folk metal. Having the flexibility with two vocalists, keys and woodwinds (flute and bagpipe most notably) along with dual guitar, pounding bass and drums opens up many a possibility and they take advantage of this more than ever. With an average track length of 5 minutes, they still have not ventured into the super long track (longest track in their entire discography maybe is 7 minutes long or so) but when you Viking raid into track after track like they do then why waste time? Attack and get back to the ship!! Listen to the 4 minutes of “Enhärjarkväde” and you will get the idea……epics not need defined by time. Album opener “Res Er Mina Söner” (“Arise My Sons”) sets the tone for the rest of the album and never relents nor disappoints. I would say in one word that this album is diverse…..heavy, soulful, thrashy, up-tempo, inspiring, introspective….it’s all here. Remember those Månegarm and Heidevolk albums from last year, as in our top two albums of the year for 2015? This reminds me of them in terms of overall feel and spirit of what being a musician and/or a band is all about…. expanding horizons on a journey of discovery.
I have had this album on perpetual repeat since I got it and haven’t stopped listening. What is Viking metal you may ask? As varied as Amon Amarth and Warduna for sure, with Grimner being somewhere in between and creating an album for the ages, time to start carving about it on Ales Stenar right now, amazing album and major contender for album of the year.
- Res er mina söner
- Nordmännens raseri
- Midgård brinner
- Vargarnas tid
- Mörkrets hem
- Etter och flammor
- Muspelheims härskare
- Frost mot eld