Archive for Viking

Grimner – Frost Mot Eld

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal with tags , , , , , on 20th March 2016 by mickbirchy

Grimner
Frost Mot Eld
Folk-Metal, Viking Metal
Released: 25 March 2016
Via Despotz

So I’ve found myself in this predicament.  Reviewing an album in a language that I don’t speak and trying to discuss a sub-genre that I enjoy but don’t fully understand.  This should be a treat. Well before I get started, I will underline this review with this statement: I like this album, I think Grimner are a good band with a lot of potential.  There, with that being said.  Let’s discuss this album.

Grimner for the uninitiated are a Viking folk metal band from Motala, Sweden. They have been around for the better part of a decade and their music consists of mixing metal with folk instrumentation. The only real experience I have of this is with the bands Turisas, Korpiklaani and Ensiferum and even that is limited. All of those bands I enjoy just fine but however I think there is a fine line between this music being good and it just not working and all of these band cross that line from time to time. However I think Frost Mot Eld is a perfectly acceptable effort.  The production is nice and there is a really nice balance of the metal elements and the folk instruments all the while nothing feels overshadowed everything just hits the right note.

The melodies a beautifully written and well arranged.  The music encompasses you and while listening to the record I got caught up in the musicianship as I am sure anyone would be.  The music is great.  The more “metal” elements are catchy and give the album an intensity and harshness which counters the pleasant, clean tones of the folk instrumentation.  The only thing that I’m not a fan of is the guttural vocals, don’t get me wrong, they’re not badly executed or anything but when compared to the clean vocals on the album they seem a little lackluster. Even the big choir like vocal stylings shine in comparison.  If you’re into that type of vocals with this music then fine.  However I feel the clean vocals are just too nice to be pushed to the side for the heavy guttural vocals.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying this album a lot lately and maybe I need to get into it a little more.  I like the sound and it’s certainly different to a lot of music I usually listen to. The music is nice and the songs are very well written.  I find myself humming the melodies long after I’ve turned it off.  If folk metal is your sort of thing and what I’ve described sounds good to you then go check it out.

3/5

Mick Birchall

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Warhorns 2014 announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The third edition of the annual Warhorns Festival has been announced. Unlike the previous two years, Warhorns 2014 will take place in Selby, near York, at The Riverside on Saturday 20th September. Announced so far for the festival are York’s mercenary metallers Sellsword as well as Nottingham pirate metallers Red Rum and Hullian black metal outfit Aloeswood. Other bands are to be announced including the headliner and ticket information will be available in the near future.

Tyr unveil video for The Lay Of Our Love featuring Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Faroese Jarls of Viking metal Týr have unveiled the video for The Lay Of Our Love, which features Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes. The song is taken from Týr’s latest musical edda Valkyrja, which was released via Metal Blade Records and is the band’s follow-up to their 2011 release The Lay Of Thrym. The clip was produced by Stanimir Lukic, directed by Ivan Colic, and can be seen below.

Tyr online:

http://tyr.fo
http://facebook.com/tyrband

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Grand Magus main man JB talks about new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Sweden’s premier riff lords Grand Magus have unveiled the first album trailer for their upcoming album Triumph and Power. Watch below as the band’s main man JB discuss details about the new album.

The tracklist of Triumph And Power reads as follows:

1. On Hooves Of Gold
2. Steel Versus Steel
3. Fight
4. Triumph And Power
5. Dominator
6. Arv
7. Holmgång
8. The Naked And The Dead
9. Ymer
10. The Hammer Will Bite

Bonus:

11. Blackmoon

The band commented about the album:

Triumph And Power has been completed. It’s a metal triumph of Viking power!!! Once again we worked with Nico Elgstrand as producer, a tradition that started with Hammer Of The North back in 2010. This is our strongest album yet, it has the northern feel, it has the power and the melody that has become our mark of excellence. Fans of true metal will take this album to their hearts. To top everything off, we have the striking and epic artwork of Anthony Roberts. The album cover perfectly captures the work on this album and Grand Magus as a band. Stay true!

Triumph and Power is set for release vis Nuclear Blast on 3rd February 2014.

Grand Magus online:

http://grandmagus.com/
http://facebook.com/grandmagusofficial
https://twitter.com/GrandMagus
https://youtube.com/GrandMagusBand
http://myspace.com/grandmagusrocks

 

Andy Sneap, Kev Bower and Bill Steer discuss ultimate tour line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Legendary British metal acts Hell and Carcass kick off their UK tour with none other than Swedish Viking death metal maestros Amon Amarth today. As such, the bands’ label Nuclear Blast decided to get Carcass’s Bill Steer and Hell’s Andy Sneap and Kev Bower together to discuss their ultimate tour line-up and why they want to see those bands on the same line-up. The discussion can be viewed below.

Catch Carcass, Hell, Amon Amarth and Bleed Within in the cities below:

Nov 12 – Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 – Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 – Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 – Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 – London Forum

Týr – Valkyrja

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Týr
Valkyrja
Released 17th September
Viking Metal
Released via Metal Blade

Hailing from the Faroes come Týr, one of the the biggest and most influential Viking metal bands of today. Following their jump from Napalm Records to Metal Blade, the four piece soon would finish Valkyrja, the band’s seventh full-length studio album. The album’s main concept is the story of an unnamed warrior who leaves his wife in order to impress a Valkyrie so that he can gain entry to either Folkvang or Valhalla.

Blood Of Heroes opens up the album in a truly powerful manner. The opening passage signals a change of sound in Týr‘s music whereas the chorus is typically catchy, something that has become a trait in Tyr‘s music over the last couple of releases. Mare Of My Night follows, which Heri describes as being the song that he has ever written the most sexually explicit lyrics for. The song focuses on a strong driving sound with an equal measure of melody to accompany the propulsive riffs. Hel Hath No Fury, which is a brilliant play on words regarding the supposed Nordic goddess of death Hel, has a cold and furious streak woven into the guitars and a hook in the chorus.

The Lay Of Our Love begins with the typical elements of a ballad, something which is enforced by both Heri‘s and Liv Kristine‘s vocals. The guitars paint a near-romantic image with different shades of emotion contrasting with the vocals where as Nation  is the complete opposite, charging in for a frontal assault of melodious passages and aggressive vocals with reinforcements from a heavy bombardment of drums. Another Fallen Brother focuses on a more thrash-like use of guitars, with near-power metalesque vocals and a cumbersome use of bass and drums.

Grindavísan starts with a folk-like choir before the majestic riffs domineer the song. As the song becomes heavier, so do Heri‘s vocals while the folk choir make an appearance for the chorus, adding a new spin on the song and keeping it traditionally Týr sounding. Into The Sky makes for a somber metallic dirge before leading into the highly melodic and medieval sounding Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð, which is sung in a Nordic language, presumably Faroese. Lady Of The Slain, which is one of the names given to the deity Freya, comes racing in like a horde of warriors drunk on blood and glory. The guitars cut through the track like a knife through butter, allowing for the bass and drums to leave their own path of devastation.

The title track, Valkyrja, has one of the most solemn introductions on the whole album, allowing varying levels of emotion to ring out through each note. Where the faster paced aspects of the track bring a vast amount of power with them, allowing the snarling use of riffs to roar fiercely throughout the song. The album ends with two covers: Where Eagles Dare (Iron Maiden) and Cemetery Gates (Pantera) – Both of which are performed superbly with Týr‘s own unique twist on them.

Valkyrja is a change in direction for Týr, stepping forward with their sound but allowing for some room for certain sound sand elements from previous albums, making for a fusion of old Týr and new TýrValkyrja is probably the best album they’ve released thus far and definitely shows how much their sound has evolved since How Far To Asgaard.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Týr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Týr release Valkyrja studio video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 21st August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Faroese Viking metallers Týr have been working hard on their seventh studio album, Valkyrja, which is due for release in the UK on 16th September via Metal Blade. Fans can now get a small glimpse of the creative process that is driving Valkyrja towards completion while Týr have been recording at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. You can watch the video below.

The opening track, Blood Of Heroes, is streaming at this location where the album is also available for pre-order. The limited edition pre-order bundles include Týr pendants, t-shirts, vinyl LP and the CD.

Týr are also pleased to announced that Amon Ellingsgaard will be drumming for Týr on their European tour with Finntroll later this month. Amon is the current drummer for Heri‘s side project: Heljareyga. Many fans will most likely be familiar with Amon, as he is also the nephew of former Týr Kari.

Tyr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband