There is a grand notion that all of black metal is completely about Satan, cults, black magik and other sinister things. As we know that isn’t close to true at all. Take Nidafjoll and their brand new album Einar for instance. This album is a concept album that is set in Norse mythology, and speaks of two characters who die at the beginning of Ragnarok. Through the album, one man band Nidafjoll tells the story of the man searching for his beloved, and all the while the world is crumbling around him. His search for his beloved leads to Niflheim which is the realm of Hel to beg for her back, and upon being refused he offers to have his own heart frozen so he can stop feeling the pain of having lost his loved one.
Now if that isn’t already better than ninety percent of the bullshit movies out now I don’t know what is. The point is, is that black metal isn’t simply about demons and witchcraft, it can certainly be about this as well. And all throughout Einar you get and emotional journey, one that ranges through different emotions. As much as you may fight the emotions, they catch you anyway and put you on a one way train to Feeladelphia.
The entirety of the album is comprised of blistering pagan black metal, symphonic folk elements and of course a compelling story. With everything combined you get great soundscapes and you can see the characters and the story take shape as though a play was unfolding before your very eyes.
The imagery and the lyrics are very vibrant painting wonderful soundscapes in which you explore with the man that is searching for his loved on. You almost feel what he may have been feeling at the time and venture far and wide to find his beloved with him. It is an emotional trek, one that takes a toll on you physically as well as mentally and emotionally.
You get great mixtures of the folk elements with the blistering black metal to create this story and have it unfold before you. Without the folk music to back the story and if there were only the cold and dense black metal to go off of the story wouldn’t nearly have the same impact.
Each song-as well as the album-is crafted very well. Within each song you get droves upon droves of emotion and what drives all of that emotion home is the symphonic folk elements. On top of that you get the blistering black metal in which the riffs are a solid wall of anger, the drums pummel and crack rock, and the vocalist provides great vocal arrangements as he transitions between larynx shredding screeches and haunting cleans.
Einar has an incredible concept and that concept is all put together seamlessly with great musicianship and great story telling. Nidafjoll mixes plenty of feeling and emotion all into a twelve track album, and at the end you aren’t sure what you should be feeling. However, at the end you will know for certain that what you just listened to was a great story told within a great album by a great story teller.