Einherjer - Av Oss, For Oss (Indie Recordings)

Proof that you don't need to know what's going on to enjoy something...
Release Date: 
1 Nov 2014 - 12:30am

My promo copy of Av Oss, For Oss didn't come with any info, just a file with eight tracks. No band bio. No photos. I was intrigued. All of Einherjer's titles are (I'm presuming here) in their native Norwegian and opener Fremad begins with a symphonic intro; all dramatic like a cross between germanic opera and industrial classical. So it's symphonic metal, eh? But no! Hammer I Kors busts out a raw guitar and in comes a black metal vocal; so it's black metal, hmmm? But no! A brief interweb search tells me that Einherjer are viking metallers. Suddenly some cowbell comes in and I'm in love.

Nidstong has a some sweet soloing care of (and I'm guessing here) Aksel Herlow - though it could be coming from Frode Glesnes, regardless it's a damn fine piece of lead work. Hedensk Oppstandelse throws in some mad keyboards and Gerhard Storesund batters the drums in a delightful manner. This Norwegian trio are giving me great pleasure with Av Oss, For Oss definitely leaning more towards black metal than the usual bombastic nature of viking metal. Hold on, they've started doing some kind of chant. Composition-wise, the whole album is a lovely thing thus far.

Nod og Ner is raunchy glam-rock-esque beast, much like a Motley Crue song (but with bags more grunt) and will have you singing along in no time - though as the whole album is sung in (again, I'm presuming here) Norwegian, you may well get the lyrics completely wrong. But that's irrelevant; the joy that Av Oss, For Oss gives you is the main thing. I'm digging it and my only complaint is that it's too bloody short.

It's hard to put this marvellous little creature into a box (and why would you want to?) as it's doused in a number of influences. It's not overly black metal and it's not overly viking metal (or pagan or symphonic, etc, etc) but it is exceedingly good fun. There's a little bit of bass joy to be had in Nornene that marries very well with the metal noir vocal. It's dramatic but not overdone with the guitar solos stirring you up to lean into the prow of the ship as the waves lash your beardy face. Trelldom rumbles out of the speakers at you before dropping into some more raunchy riffage - it's powerful and sexy, much like myself - and then comes the ringing chords and bass. Fucking glorious.

Final track Av Oss, For Oss has got to be a blinder, surely? Introducing itself with some shimmering and twangy guitars, my expectation levels are high. There's some choral work then it all comes crashing in with some primitive drums and some more chanting - it's weepingly good with a return to the symphonic power of the intro Fremad. I think this is a genius album. I'd love to see Einherjer playing live because I reckon their particular style of metal would transform you into a magnificent viking beast - though perhaps with a smidge of corpse-paint to go with your furs and pointy hat.