Norwegian Native Art
Review by Jack on June 11, 2001.
Einherjer’s third full-length album sees the band move slightly further away from their more clean ‘folky’ style and somewhat less heavy release in "Odin Owns Ye All", their second release. Guitars are beefed up, and thunder loudly across green battlefields through dreamy Valhalla. Yes, this album is thoroughly engrossed and conceived with Viking folklore, ranging from “Listen to your last, to the sound of my sword Yours, beheaded – Gram, the dreaded” to “In a silvershield of frost Her realm proudly shimmers”, however, even put in context these sort of lyrics do sound a bit silly. Double-bass throughout the album is an absolute god-send and does wonders for the overall sound quality, which is top notch.
Vocally the album is a big let down, uniqueness wise, Ragnar is blessed with a rare talent of having vocals that don’t suck, but don’t shine either (rare, you either love ‘em or loathe ‘em). Vocals used to be Einherjer’s remarkable feature, Rune Bjelland possessed a voice in which you would automatically think Vikings and mead.
This album does possess some extremely catchy songs. "Draconian Umpire", is probably a bit ‘prettier’ than other songs on the album and not as heavy, it is many times more majestic and captures the true Viking essence. "Regicide" utilizes Ragnar in tandem with guest female vocalist, Hanne E. Andersen, to create a truly harmonious duet and song.
Bottom Line: If you’d never heard of Einherjer before and want to listen to good Viking metal, than "Norwegian Native Art" would probably be your best bet, this album is easy to get into, but suffers from trying to be too metal, they should’ve stuck with old stuff.
Rating: 7 out of 10