Fimbulthier – The Battle Begins

‘The Battle Begins’ is a pretty generic album, but by no means a bad one. On the contrary, it serves its purpose well for what it is, and it’s ridiculous to attempt to fault it for not fulfilling some wild expectation of what it should be. Fimbulthier plays melodic death metal laced with viking elements, and their debut LP, ‘The Battle Begins’ executes such a fusion fairly well, resulting in a listen that, while not sticking out very much after its completion, is certainly pleasing for what it is.

Probably the most unique element of Fimbulthier is the subtlety of the incorporation of viking elements into primarily melodic death-based music. Acoustic passages occur, but not in a cheesy early Dark Tranquillity way: they’re pure viking and add a lot to the music. Additional elements: the occasional bit of military marching snare with harmonizing guitar, viking-style rolling rhythms, and other small elements which help differentiate ‘The Battle Begins’ from your average melodeath album. Gothenburg traits are pleasingly kept to a minimum; the lead guitar is not sickeningly sweet, and the growling vocals are fairly robust.

This is a clearly riff-based album, and it does have a fair number of very good ones to offer. The main riff to ‘With Fire And Claws’ is excellent, and possibly one of the best melodic death riffs I’ve ever heard, being resoundingly traditional as well as genuinely excellent. Tempos range from mid-paced to very fast, with the latter generally reigning over the latter in complexity and songwriting. The album does suffer from a slightly flat production, particularly in the oddly-incorporated drums, most specifically the toms, which lack a certain resonance with the rest of the kit.

When all is said and done, ‘The Battle Begins’ is a fairly simple album. But it’s an unpretentious one, and one that does its job quietly and leaves. Melodic death fans should give it a try most certainly, and the rest of the metal scene is encouraged to do so as well.

(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)

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~ by noktorn on May 22, 2007.

One Response to “Fimbulthier – The Battle Begins”

  1. you’re a fag

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