Candlelight Records 2007

We have here another band that will probably get over-hyped because of a famous black metal star's participation.  This time it is Ihsahn of Emperor.  But all in all this isn't a bad recording.  It is at least way better than the dismal Peccatum.  Basically what we have here is a rock band that melds together traditional Norwegian folk influences and modern metal with some subtle electronica thrown in.  Grimen has moments of truly inspiring genius and other moments that fall flat.  In the genius column is Faen Pa Bordstabelen with its looped fiddle courtesy of famed Norwegian fiddler Knut Buen.  It sort of reminds me of something from Miranda Sex Garden's Fairytales of Slavery album.  In the tedious category we have Margit Hjuske and its spoken words and worthless piano.  And then it comes time for some kick ass metal like on Fossegrimen where the dual vocals of Heidi and Ihsahn battle as a beauty and the beast concept over melodic guitar riffs and some subtle folky fiddle.  Also to me the use of electronic here seems a little out of place with the traditional folk elements.  To best illustrate this listen to the beats that are woven into Nykken and they just seem so strange when supporting that calm and somber piano.  Heidi's (StarofAsh) vocals are angelic and really bring the music to life and sometimes she reminds me somewhat of Kari Rueslatten(Storm/3rd and the Mortal).  But the spoken vocals really kind of irritate me with their frequent usage as they sound like an old man telling a story on the seaside.  That's probably what was intended but it is distracting in the end for me.  As a whole album Grimen is sort of hit and miss as some songs are really good and some just don't seem to work well at all.  This album almost works but in the end I feel they need some more time to get a better feel for what this band should be.  With that said I have heard far worse albums even from Ihsahn himself.