Sometimes all you need is a guy with lots of talent…and lots of free time.
NORNSAGA’s 2018 debut album ‘The Shores of Níðhöggr‘ is immediate, intense Viking Metal. Which is astounding considering that this entire “demo” was recorded and performed by lone American(!) musician Dustin Thompson.
Influence from Viking/Death Metal faves like ENSIFERUM, AMON AMARTH, and WINTERSUN drips off every grinding riff and hook. With enough blast and tumble to satiate even the most jaded.
Thompson’s towering growl balances well against his clean(er) vocals. Yet, it’s the impactful multi-instrumentation that truly impresses. Hard to imagine a full band sounding much better. A potent swirl of steely heft with Folk assisted melodies and sweeping guitars. Only occasional hiccups in the mix reflect more humble origins. This is seriously heavy sh*t.
Notables “On the Shores of Níðhöggr“, “Tule Kotiin“, and “Wanderer” rise with unholy tempo shifts, wondrous folk reflection, and Prog level arrangements. I can’t find much fault here… Except, perhaps, the SABATON cover closer “Ghost Division” where, although well-performed, Dustin simply lacks the required vocal flexibility for a fitting tribute.
For those seeking their next Viking Metal fix, look towards NORNSAGA’s thunderous debut ‘The Shores of Níðhöggr‘. An energized collection of Norse raider growls, righteous howls, savage beatdowns, and bloodied axes.