Label: Werewolf Records
Release Date: 13 November 2020
Format Reviewed: High Quality Digital Recording
Ymir is Finnish black metal, embodying the raw, first offerings of the mystical black metal of the 90’s. A throwback, also holding strong to pagan influences but in no way limiting their vision of who they are and what they wish to attain by maintaining their established foundations and surprising the listener to what else they are capable of.
Current members are back to being a two-piece, brothers, Vrasjarn (Vocals and guitar), and Lord Sargofagian (drums). Both brothers between the band’s first demo, released in 1999, entitled “Trollsword”, and 2006’s release of another demo, “Silvery Howling”, and the upcoming release of “Ymir” self-titled album, were very active in other metal projects. Vrasjarn in this time became involved with funeral doom lords, Profetus, and Lord Sargofagian concurrently founded Baptism.
Both brothers were also involved in many other bands, besides these two. Could explain why Ymir only has two demos and one full-length album. What an album though! I listened to it, not expecting anything, and I was surprised with the depth and scope of Ymir.
“Pagan Mysticism”, the first track- Sweeping, atmospheric, wolf howls, beautiful, haunting echoes. Killer intro. Then, riffs exploding and filling, furious guitar energies, and blasting drum beats. Vocals are screeching. Wolf howls echo throughout this track, and melodies in the slamming riffs are addictive. Intense growling vocals that fade off and come back to the rage screeching. Some timely pauses that make this first track stand out.
“Silvery Howling”, the second track- Strikes with the same attention to detail guitar riffing. Drums in this track are stellar speed and power. Drums are a huge presence in this song. Riffs pick up and slow down, and vocals keep the track on fire. You are headbanging to this addictive rhythm.
“Ymir”, the third track- self-titled- draws the listener in, and the vocals in this are magic. The strong pagan influence comes through and is heard as a variation to what the tracks have been so far. “Frostland Conqueror”, the fourth track… Can’t say enough about these RIFFS. Combined with the blasting drums that don’t stop. To finish this track is eerie wind sounds. A nodd to the cold atmosphere.
“Winterstorms”, the fifth track, leads off with the pagan influence, almost a melodic metal feel to this. Vocals come in crashing and splintering. The vocal achievement in this is noted and works well with the ongoing pagan tint on this track. “Resurrection of the Pagan Fire”, the sixth track. This title alone puts me in mind of cold Winter nights, howling winds, and alone fire being kept alive in a blizzard. Vocals are screamed, riffs and punishing, drums are alive, and again that driving beat pulls you in. Drawn out a growl in mid-point of song, slower tempo. Soon though, it picks back up and the energies of this final track take over.
If you want a black metal that has the quality of sound from the 90s, and pagan influence, with killer vocals, guitar, and drums, then, you will be pleased with Ymir. They keep their roots close, but also show you that they are more. I give 8/10 Metal Marie
8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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