"Frost Mot Eld" (Despotz; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There are too many sub-genres of heavy metal. Like all other types of music, it's been divided into so many groups I can't (and refuse to) keep track of them. I mean, there's even "pirate metal" for chrissakes.

Grimner isn't pirate metal, but it is folk metal, a sub-genre that's really all its own (okay, okay, I've heard "pirate music" called folk metal, too). It's what Jethro Tull would have sounded like that if they were really the right choice for that first-ever heavy metal Grammy award. Folk metal is power metal fused with more traditional instruments, like flutes and bagpipes, and with lyrics that tell of battles or paganism or whatever. If you've heard bands like Ensiferum, Fintroll, etcetera, then you've heard folk metal.

Imagine the cast of Game of Thrones picking up electric guitars and adding them to the songs they sing in the bars on the TV show. There. You've got a pretty good picture.

Okay, I'm poking a little fun. Fact is, Grimner's "Frost Mod Eld" is a fascinating listen. It's got everything I've described above, with brilliant production buoying the whole thing and, despite the fact it isn't in English and I can't understand a damn word the band is singing, it kicks some serious ass in a unique way that you can't help but get caught up in. My favorite track is "Morkrets Hem" with its dueling flute and guitar. Awesome track.

Here's the thing: If you're into folk metal, you're gonna like Grimner's "Frost Mot Eld." If you're not, you're not. If you haven't heard folk metal before, why not give it a try? Grimner are anxious to introduce you to the genre.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400.