Release Date: 9th February 2018
Record Label: Despotz Records
Grimner are a band who I discovered thanks to an old housemate who runs monthly gigs in York, and he kindly let me know they were coming over to the UK this year for a few gigs. It turns out these few gigs would be part of Grimner’s album tour for the very wonderful Vanadrottning. I’ll be seeing them next month live, so listening to this album was going to be inevitable!
First things first, I don’t think I’m going to be able to walk after the Grimner show next month. This band alone will have me jigging away all night, so much so that I think I’ll be jigging all the way back to the hotel that night!
The title track has a great buildup, with drums, keys, brass and piano. The guitars then kick in with the same riff. This first track is a little light on the expected Grimner flute, but it is still in the mix and complements the rest of the instrumental really well. There is a good mix of harsh and clean vocals which is heard in most tracks on this album.
The third track, En Fallen Jätte, is one of the early release tracks from this album, but it was the first time I had listened through headphones with proper levels, so it was almost like hearing it for the first time all over again. This song is very heavy on the flute and I can definitely see myself jigging and dancing away to this track live with my friends. The chorus definitely sounds like a good singalong, but as with all songs not in English, our British ways mean we don’t put a heavy emphasis on foreign languages during our educational years. There are some heavy riffs in this song that will allow for some headbanging. I think it’s one of my favourite tracks from the album.
Kvällningsång starts out a little heavier than the previous track, but the flute soon kicks in and the jigging begins again. This album is consistent with the same instruments and vocals and this is by no means a bad thing at all. I enjoy every moment of this album. There is a wonderful spoken word section in this song, it really adds the the atmosphere.
Våt Blod, Våra Liv starts with a group chant and brass instrumentals. There is also an accordian in there. The song certainly has a calmer energy than the previous tracks, but it a heavier song, it is more of a headbanging song than a jigging song. However, with all the jigging you need to do with the previous tracks, a small break from that and a change of pace is great. You soon get that energy back with Dödens Dans.
Ägers Salar has more atmosphere, with some choir elements, the main body of the song has a simlar feeling to Våt Blod, Våra Liv. The song ends how it begins, with the atmosphere and choral chants. The final track (not including the bonus track), is more sombre, with flute and strings in the background. There is alternating calmer and heavier instrumentals. There are more clean vocals too, which I do enjoy.
The bonus track, Freya Vakar, is again a heavier track, but there is also a heavy use of the flute, including a flute and guitar harmony which I particularly like.
I have a feeling that after seeing Grimner live next month I am going to forget how to walk, and only know how to jig and dance, which I will struggle not to do the entire walk back to the hotel. I would highly recommend this album to anyone that has an even passing interest in folk metal. I am a little mad at myself for not finding out about this band earlier, as they are fast becoming one of my favourite bands of the genre!
Purchase Vanadrottning: http://grimner.bandcamp.com/
Grimner Website: http://grimnerband.com/