Einherjer – Av Oss, for Oss (Indie Recordings)Tuesday, 30th December 2014
With Enslaved having long abandoned the Viking metal sound they are largely responsible, most eyes (and ears) turn to their countrymen, Einherjer. The band, a functioning entity since 1993 sans a few year break in the ‘00s, are perhaps the truest representation of the Viking metal sound circa 2014. Bolstered by somewhat triumphant hues and straightforward Scandinavian black metal action, Einherjer’s sound is neither evolved nor devolved; it’s a sum of a lot of parts that have originated from Norway and its neighboring countries the last few decades, something that rings true throughout Av Oss, for Oss, the band’s sixth album.
As so stated by the band, Av Oss, for Oss is designed to craft more tales about the heroism and times of Norse Vikings, whose influence is profound upon Einherjer. The all-Norwegian lyrics certainly aid the band’s cause in their homeland, but cancel out any sort of trickle-down into English-speaking territories, but, that’s par for the course. Not a deterrent, either. The songs here are somewhat rangy, from the gritty “Hammer I Kors,” to “Nord og Ner,” a song that quickly recalls the best of work of a like-minded band, Sweden’s Thyrfing, Einherjer fundamentally, are right in the pocket of hardline’d BM and epic metal. Naturally, the band saves their best for last with the ten-minute and change title track, a number that hauls several colossal melodies of the forlorn nature, turning it into one of the outfit’s better cuts to date.
The considerable attention to detail (particularly with the subject matter) serves Einherjer well, especially if we’re trying to point out what the year’s most dyed-in-the-wool Viking metal album would be. One needn’t look much further than Av Oss, for Oss, a body of work that should cement Einherjer’s status as their country’s most diligent of Vikings.