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Out from Norway comes a band of men seeking to leave their mark in music history. The band is Einherjer and the demo is "Aurora Borealis", an album of melodic and somewhat mystical music. Let us talk music...
The first song, "De Sorte Sioers Land" begins with wind and the bass. The feeling you get is desolation, then the band comes in with a good weight. The drums hit hard at good key points in the song. The guitars start out great in the mix but then when they break into the heavy bridge, they lose volume and thus weaken. The bass is a tad loud, but that could be the band's preference. It still sounds good. The lead guitar plays well throughout. The fault in the mix is the lack of bass and some low-mid power in the rhythm guitars. The vocals are well chosen for the song. The echo with the vocalist produces the effect of there being 2 singers. The man can sing well. Love that chant at the end!
Then we are hit with the title track. The loud drums suit the music well. The most notable part of this song is the singing. Layered clean vocals over black metal growling to begin. The clean vocal chant melds magnificantly with the lead guitar during what seems to the bridge to the chorus. This song comes across as a nice heavy song with touches of melody that give the mystical air to the song. The song carries well in the sense that it "goes somewhere". For those who don't understand the metaphor, it means that the song has good structure and doesn't lose flow throughout.
"Witchking" is next. The bass is overpowering and the lead AND the rhythm guitars are too quiet. And what's this? English! The riffs still have that mystical element to them. Some may say that the low volume and substance of the guitars over a loud bass make that mystic element that is mentioned throughout. That is possible, but the guitars needed an extra punch for this song. Of all the songs on the album, I'd say that this is my least favorite. I like the string / synth solo near the end of the song. The vocal mix was not very exciting and sounded more like an angry man yelling outside from across a busy street. Clean vocals might have worked better. It is still a good song.
To conclude, we have "Einherjer" This song impressed me the most. It inspired me to light up the ol' oil lamp and give a drink to the Gods. The easy beat of the bass drum, hi hat and crash and the gentle bass riff rhythm make the song very listenable for any mood. The soft and (yet again) mystic guitars fill you with all kinds of feelings, from nostalgia to philosophical reflection. The whisper technique for the vocals was a great idea. At the end, we are hit with a tom-tom change from the hi hat / bass drum beat and an easy to swallow concluding change. Truly, a song that easily found it's way into my book of favourites.
Einherjer's debut is a magnificant album. The loud drums and mystic sensation send you to a world of old norseman huddled about a fire in a longhouse, feasting and telling stories of old. This album can be defined as a "winter" album. A person's mood during the winter could inspire them to listen to this album. Just listening to it can make you miss the winter. Aside from some mixing issues, which could also be a matter of opinion, this album should be picked up and added to one's collection for a truly...MYSTIC flavor.