The Eleven Rivers of Hverlmir

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17/20
Band Name Grim Sköll
Album Name The Eleven Rivers of Hverlmir
Type Album
Erscheinungsdatum 2008
Musik GenreEpic Black
Mitglieder die dieses Album besitzen3

Tracklist

1. Intro (Son of Nerthus)
2. Ode to Almighty Skadi
3. Hringhorni
4. Burning into the Flames of Forgotten Past
5. Homage to Freya
6. Winter Wings
7. The Reborn of Darkness
8. Berserk Saga
9. Daudi Baldrs (Burzum's Cover)

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Grim Sköll



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Review @ Morkedark

08 Oktober 2009
Although hailing from Mexico, Grim Skoll’s first effort sounds like coming directly from some Nordic forest or something. Indeed, even the booklet is decorated with runes, and the odes go to Freya, Skadi, Berserks, etc! Baal Taran is the mastermind behind this project, as it is a case of a ‘one-man-band’, and his CV includes collaborations and song-writing with a couple of other Mexican bands. On this album he handles all instruments and vocals, and pays a tribute to his Northern-European “leanings”.

The band’s sound is described as Black Metal/ Ambient, something that I don’t completely agree with; at least with the Black Metal part. Apart from the vocals that “scream” their Darkthrone influences, there aren’t many other elements to back this description; OK, the atmosphere created is dark but this is owed to the melodies played by the keyboards rather than a “savage” riffing or speed. The guitar, wherever makes its presence felt, helps mainly in the building of melodies and themes in a “progressive” way. The main feature of this album is to sound like a soundtrack of the worlds it describes, thus the whole atmosphere is more loose than tight, and the structure of the songs follows a path of melody and changes based on keyboards and guitar solos. The album consists of nine tracks of which four are kind of instrumental intros/ interludes between the songs, plus a cover of Burzum’s ‘Daudi Baldrs’. Indeed, the cover is indicative of this project’s profile, especially in the instrumental tracks. Mortiis’ ‘Stargate’ is another example that could be used to describe the album’s more ambient moments. The songs are reminiscent of late Summoning directions, in terms of approaching the “soundtrack” feeling. And the soundtrack’s movie consists of mythological plains of ‘Mother North’.

‘The Eleven Rivers of Hverlmir’ benefits from the pros of being created in its entirety by one musician, as it sounds consistent throughout its running time. The ambient/folk sounds mix nicely with the heavier/guitar-orientated parts, and the music sounds focused. The cons of working alone, such as repetition of ideas or lack of “warm” band sound, aren’t allowed to mess with the final result, although natural drums always sound better than programming!

After quite a few a listen, I came to like this album. It stands well for its “League” and hits the targets it has set. It has to be auditioned from start to finish, in order to achieve its goals of being a story-teller, rather than a gathering of independent songs. Nice!

17/20

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