You’d be hard pressed to find a band as bombastically Swedish as Grimner, and their third album "Vanadrottning" is no exception. Although the mix is more subdued than their sophomore release Frost Mot Eld, all of the trademark soaring melodies are there juxtaposed with the satisfying swing of killer folk riffs. The album adds aggression in comparison to past Grimner releases with more uptempo sections while maintaining the expected jauntiness for a folk metal record.
Although individual tracks can at times drift into folk metal tropes, the record still manages to maintain an interesting pace. Folk metal maniacs will find plenty to like, and long time Grimner listeners will find the style they enjoy intact with embellishments and experimentation. Erik Grawsiö of Manegårm fame makes an appearance on the track “Fafnersbane”, and other high points include the wonderfully Finntroll-esque “Kvällningssång” as well as an extremely fresh outro track in “Freja Vakar."
If "Vanadrottning" falters at any point, it’s only in comparison to its own strongest aspects and the admittedly high bar set by the band themselves with their stellar previous releases. Primarily at fault is the mix of the record - some of the heavier parts suffer due to a weaker guitar tone than previously heard on Frost Mot Eld. However, if you’re a fan of a rawer sound in your folk metal this might not present an issue for you and even bring a bit of a nostalgia.
It’s not unheard of for acts in this genre to change production approaches rather starkly from release to release, and it is usually a point of contention for the fans whether or not the changes are good. In this case, it’s not much of a debate: Grimner has again delivered a solid album their fanbase will love and everything indicates they will keep delivering fresh material for years to come.
Label: Despotz Records (2018)
2.Avundas hennes ungdom
3.En fallen jätte
5.En vilja av järn
7.Vårt blod, våra liv
10.Sången om grimner