2017 year was a pretty good year for lesser know folk/viking metal. While Ensiferum continued to stale with Two Paths, and Wintersun, delivered yet another bloated over hyped release, bands liked Wolfchant, Tersivel , Atlas Pain and Nordheim, Incursed released some really good albums that actually deserved more attention.

Well, early in 2018, Dalriada ( my new favorites in the genre)  Frost Giant, Battlesoul and Swedes Grimner look to continue the trend with their 3rd album, Vanadrottning. These guys got my attention back in 2016 with Frost mot eld,  and the new album continues with that high quality. It’s in the more bouncy/catchy/happy, almost Finnish realm of lavishly produced, face painted, folk/viking metal with lots of keyboards, flutes (lots), Mandola, bagpipes, clean vocals, etc rather than the more blackened pagan realms of say Drudkh or Wallachia or more folk death metal crunch of Svartsot  (though both enjoy the same prevalence of pipes/flutes).

And catchy as fuck it is. There’s are handful of tracks on Vanadrottning that are just ridiculously catchy and will make many a folk/viking metal warrior or warrior-ess sway and jig with glee. The duo of  third track “En fallen jätte” ( the 2:33 mark is pretty much the perfect folk metal romp) and fourth track “Kvällningssång” with its Finntroll ish like march and bounce deliver some downright silly addictive folk metal moments. It’s too damn good and both bring a smile to my face everytime I hear them.

Later in the album, epic trot of “Fafnersbane”, upbeat gallop of “Dödens dans”, “Ägers salar” with its sing along chorus and crunchy mid song break and bonus/last track “Freja vakar” with its almost disco like break deliver more of the same, with the same grin cracking results.  It’s disposable, fun stuff that the band has perfected. They only really ramp the fun factor down once of the album, the penultimate track “Sången Om Grimner”, a ballad of sorts, but it ends a pretty damn good album rather fittingly.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 3rd, 2018


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