Burden of Ymir – ‘Heorot’ (2023)
Release: 10 March 2023
Label: Flowing Downward
Burden of Ymir is a one-man band from Canada that I sincerely have never heard of before now. Its music is described as a mix of folk and black metal but this time there’s a bit less black and way more melodic material. There is in fact a great abundance of guitar solos that keeps the average song length very high, with the longest song reaching 9 minutes of clock. Black metal can still be found on some aspects of the songs though, such as in harsh vocals appearing somewhere in the song, or faster drums bringing us more intense moments than the usual rhythm of the song.
This drums’ variety, however, does not affect the whole album. A track like the great mead hall does not really manage to catch the listener’s attention until the end successfully, and that’s such a pity if we consider the album’s very well recorded despite one only person being behind the scenes of Burden of Ymir.
Thankfully that’s not always the case in such songs like “revenge found in the night”, where drums switch between faster and slower tempos, more space is also given to vocals.. and we’ve even got an accordion solo near the end of the song! And 7th track “threat of fire”, where that one part at around 3 minutes really caught my interest and also found me listening to the song more than once.
Yes, multi instrumentalist Joe Caswell really manages to bring us great moments in the melodic parts and more folky ones as well, while the attention falls down a bit as we get in the depths of longer songs, where sometimes the listener could get distracted by the abundance of the same rhythm or influence for too long. But I wouldn’t make it a great fault for a one-man band who still manages to bring us a very well made melodic/viking/folk metal work.
Reaching 6th track “the ninth hour approaches” we are brought through an instrumental part into the beginning of the song where we can find a velocity decrease than the previous songs. And this time the band finds a well working balance through the melting pot of all viking/folk/melodic influences. One part follows a different one and so the song reaches the end without big flaws.
Eventually an instrumental outro closes an album I wouldn’t be afraid to call more than just good. There are plenty of pleasing moments in this work, and viking metal lovers will surely find satisfaction in this album, as well as songs to fill their players with for more than one occasion.
- Hwaet 01:34
- Recounting on the Seas 07:12
- The Great Mead Hall 06:26
- Revenge Found in the Night 04:51
- Monsters of the Lake 05:33
- The Ninth Hour Approaches 09:13
- Threat of Fire 05:25
- Mourning of the Geats 02:27