April 24, 2014

Welcome to the hall of Hel - Eldjudnir

Review by Majbritt Levinsen.

Lets take a trip to Nifelheim and the halls of Hel - where Eldjudnir will tell you tales from the Norse mythology, derived directly from the old Edda Prose of Snorri Sturlurson accompanied by a very raw, dark and beautiful atmosphere. As you already might have figured out we are going black metal.

I first came in contact with the Danish black metal band Eldjudnir when I discovered Solbrud back in 2013, as they had them amongst their bandcamp recommendations. I bought all three of their albums right there and then and have been pleasantly surprised about their development through the albums they have managed to release so far. Lets start from the beginning.

Their first release was the EP Ragnarok released in 2010. It is sung in Danish with nature romantic touches such as rain, thunder and howls from the wild blended into the spacious guitars and gritty backwalls of sounds that blasts along in typical black metal style. There are some really nice acoustic parts that enhances the tracks and the storytelling aspect of the songs. The vocal is both raw raspy crow-like singing and spoken words/chants. As with most black metal drummers I’m really impressed with Jacob Hee Lindhardt Lund’s drumwork, not to mention that Jakob Sture Winnem Larsen handles every other instrument on this recording, including the vocal. For those not familiar with Danish, the lyrics tells the tale about Ragnarök from the start of the Fimbulvinter until the end when all of the worlds have been swallowed by the sea.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Next up is their second EP, Ginnungagap, released in 2011 and it follows the path of Ragnarok in regards to the Norse mythology storytelling aspects. The first track is so beautiful and tells how the world rises from the big primordial void - the Ginnungagap. We will also hear about Loki and Odin until the eternal winter ("Evig Vinter") hits this EP, I must say that this track isn’t a favourite of mine, but it has its moments. The last track, the instrumental "Tomhed (Outro)" is however one brilliant piece of work - that is a track I would like an extended version of, in the scope of Sabazius’s - "The Descent of Man", nah just kidding, but the same length as the brilliant "Skogens Hjärta" by Hypothermia would be lovely!

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Onwards and upwards! Angrboda from 2012 is in my humble opinion the most complete and best offering from this young band, closely followed by Ragnarok. The tracks are more majestic and offers both chaos and beauty. Angrboda also differs from the 2 past releases as it is sung in old Icelandic, the lyrics are from the original Gylfaginning by Snorri Sturlurson. I have to point out the track "Bundinn", it really hits a chord in me: it is fluid and spacious yet still raw and engulfed in thick moist fog. And as the 11 minutes long track "Fenris" closes off the album I want to hit the play button again...

And I’ve been listening a lot to all of the three albums above and I have yet to grow tired of them.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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