Einherjer: Dragons Of The North XX

dotn-xxHow is it at all possible the Viking-metal genre is as old as it is? Back in ’96, American metal had all but turned belly up. And throughout Europe, a new wave of awesomeness had already arisen. The first song I heard by 2014’s Album Of The Year winners was the infamous Firestarter Compilation. This brought to American shores a plethora of Euro-awesomeness including Satyricon, Emperor, Opeth, Borknagar, Old Man’s Child, Katatonia, Arcturus, Ophthalamia (*takes breath*) and more. I loved Einherjer but my first purchase after that would be Odin Owns Ye All and I was utterly disappointed. Almost as soon as I got into the band, I lost interest. I was left with an incredible three-song EP and Dragons Of The North. It’s one of those things though…as the sheer quantity of music coming from Norway and Sweden was so outrageous, it was easy not to appreciate just how incredible it was.

And so here we are, somehow 20 years down the line and while this re-recorded version is by no means necessary (the original is perfect), it’s fun. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Furthering the band’s philosophy taken from Av Oss, For Oss, they likely did this for themselves first and foremost. The record is as spectacular as it was then, perhaps I can appreciate it more now at 40 than I did at 20. (Well, I got it at 22, to be honest).

This won’t win AotY (that’s clearly going to Moonsorrow), but I’m psyched to be listening to it more than I have in well over a decade. This album fucking rocks.

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