• Einherjer - Av oss, for oss (2014) - Enter a heroic, nostalgic, raw world of past glory - 88% (03/12/14)

    Einherjer - Av oss, for oss (2014)

    The Norwegian trio of Einherjer delivers the best Viking Metal album of the year with their sixth studio album entitled “Av Oss, For Oss”. The record includes everything a gripping genre record needs: epic and almost cinematic atmospheres with a few small folk sounds here and there in the opening instrumental tune or in some bridges, authentic Norwegian lyrics performed by bleak yet surprisingly chilling black metal vocals, gripping and heavy doom metal riffs, a couple of classic melodic heavy metal guitar soli that lighten up the atmosphere and a couple of occasional sing-along parts in the bridges that make you think of heroic Viking hordes.

    While the album has a great flow and works as a whole, three songs really stand out for me. First of all, there is the first single “Nidstong” which is one of the few upper mid-tempo tracks on here. The song doesn’t have anything like a chorus but the reoccurring vocal lines and riffs are quite catchy. There is no doubt that this is the most accessible song on the album. On the other side, mysterious chants add some depth to the straighter song writing in the bridges. These chants could also fit to a gothic metal band. Another big surprise comes in form of a melodic rock ‘n roll guitar solo in the middle part. The solo adds a fresh touch to the darker atmosphere and manages not to sound out of place. The more I listen to this record the more original details I manage to discover.

    “Nord Og Ner” is one of the darker and straighter songs on the album and stands out between the more epic tracks. The middle passage features raw and simplistic guitar riffs and a dominating rhythmic bass guitar accompanied by precise drum patterns that make my head and legs shake. The instrumental passage makes the solid song truly remarkable.

    The fitting closing track “Av Oss, For Oss” is an atmospheric epic anthem far over ten minutes that manages to mix musical diversity with catchy melodies. The song has its laid back orchestral keyboard passages that transmit harmony and melancholy in equal parts on one side but also the bleakest black metal vocal parts on the entire album on the other. This majestic mixture of almost progressive esthetics and natural emotions recalls and probably even equals genre classics from iconic bands such as Bathory and Falkenbach. This worthy title song is probably one of the very best songs ever written by the band and it grows with each spin.

    Anybody who cares for atmospheric, emotional and epic Viking Metal from Månegarm over Moonsorrow to Týr should definitely purchase this most recent record by this extremely underrated band. Try to grab the limited digipack edition that includes the bonus track "Blodsbånd" as well. The perfectly coherent album has a lot of depth, progressivity and a bleak yet beautiful soul that invites you to plunge into a heroic, nostalgic and raw world of past glory. This record easily grabs one of the top spots on my list of this year’s very best releases.

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