Release DetailsLABEL Tabu Records
RELEASED ON 9/16/2003
posted on 10/2003 By:
Take a punchy, rhythmic backdrop that is mid tempoed and more or less intricately performed. Place guitar and keyboard melodies on top of it to create a layered effect of both heaviness and soaring symphonic movements. Add a singer that sings incomprehensibly and monotonously with the very typical gargly style. Produce it with great care and precision, making sure that each instrument is crisply presented and audible, and you have Einherjer. The real question is if you already have a full compliment of symphonic pseudoneogothmalleuromelodicblack Metal bands in your collection, is it worth your money and time to add this record? I believe it is, but I do have some reservations. But soft: let us explore my reasoning... These guys are not speedy, foregoing nearly any sign of a blastbeat, concentrating more on a classic metal charge, with an almost progressive feel in their use of time changes and bridges. The music has a marshall quality, very Northern European, but it does occasionally groove and chug. The guitarists are very tasteful in their melodic leads and solos, and the keys rarely end up stepping over anything. Everything has a place and is kept very orderly and neat.... Too neat, maybe? The production is crystal clear and very fair to each instrument, but it's also pretty sterile. It has a warm deep foundation, but it isn't really very heavy and seems to sap some of the fury from the performances. The drums are bright and flat. The guitars have nearly perfect tone, but not much oomph. The bass rarely strays from the root, and the keys are just about exactly like all the other keys in this kind of metal. These are good songs, and they are nearly perfectly performed. There are moments of brilliance all over the place, but somehow it all gets smoothed over in the end, leaving you not unsatisfied, but not exactly enthused. I found myself wishing they would just cut loose, shed some blood, and spit some bile; live a little. I cannot fault these guys for wanting to present these songs as perfectly as possible. The musicianship is obviously high caliber, and there is care and thought in every aspect of this record. You can certainly enjoy every song on its own merits, as they each have a distinct feel. And they pack twelve tracks on to make sure the listener is getting their money's worth. Bottom line: If the band would up the emotional ante they could easily be a top tier metal act. The musicianship, the songwriting and the focus are all right there, but the soul, the fury, and the venom just seems absent. The "gut aspect" is what sets metal apart for me. To take the virtuosity and craftsmanship and then pour your rage all over it, that is what metal is to me. And this band is just south of that for now. I will listen to it again but not without a sense of lamentation.
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