The Norwegian Viking metal ensemble that is Einherjer is about to unleash a brand new audio assault upon the unsuspecting masses via Indie Recordings and any fan of bombastic and face-melting music ought to pay attention to this one as it contains some of the very best material by said band to date. Actually, it seems as if Einherjer are getting better and better with age and their albums more and more captivating and interesting, which is obviously a huge accomplishment as it is usually the other way around with bands losing the plot as time progresses, but fortunately, that is not the case here.
The first thing that sprung to mind upon listening to this 11-track effort was that it sounds absolutely massive production-wise, but on top of that the entire thing comes across as utterly confident and proud. You can tell that these guys have poured their hearts and souls into Norrøne Spor and aimed for something that is rich in atmosphere and riddled with passion on all fronts. The melodies are simply superb and some of the harmonies are to die for, but if you are on the lookout for jackhammer-riffs that will drill holes into your skull, do not fret, dear readers, as there are loads of those present too. The musicianship is quite stellar, but that is hardly surprising given the fact that Einherjer have been around for ages (i.e. 25 years) and know damn well how to compose and arrange epic tunes with wicked hooks and thunderous parts to them.
There are plenty of interesting layers and textures to Norrøne Spor, but it never becomes dense or convoluted as such. Rather, it walks that fine line between being instantly memorable on the one hand and fittingly challenging on the other. There is wild and reckless energy to marvelous compositions such as the raging yet melodic ‘The Spirit of a Thousand Years‘ and the wonderfully mysterious ‘Mot Vest‘. Not each and every song is all-out killer, but overall, Norrøne Spor rarely loses its momentum and lacks neither cohesion nor coherence.
This record immediately caught the interest of yours truly upon the very first listening and from thereon it just kept growing on me, so whenever the mood calls for some crushing and majestic metal from the windy shores of Valhalla, this glorious offering by Einherjer is the way to go. It will be very interesting to see and hear how these new compositions will come across in a live setting.