Crom are one of the few bands who can truly pull off the Viking heritage, power metal brand without coming across as cheesy or desperate, and that is down to their authenticity and their desire to put their heart into their music. That shows on their new album When Northmen Die.
Behold The Lights is a roaring song, a cracking opener, one that makes one want to go drinking and fighting to earn a place in Valhalla. Epic guitar riffs, epic choruses and epic everything. All Alone starts slowly with an acoustic intro before moving into heaviness, and plain epicness once more. Shields of Gold is another fine song, a proper drinking song, to celebrate the life of a hard fighting Viking. Dear Father is an acoustic number that is thoughtful and reflective, a slow change of pace toward the normal happenings.
Betrayal is next, heavy guitars, harmonised guitars, the soaring chants of Bathory are apparent here, moving into fast moving, tremolo picked riffs and soaring vocals, Bathory would be proud. I’m With You starts acoustically, before moving into heaviness, with grit and determination. Gods of Glory is another acoustic number, a drinking song, one that could easily be featured on Vikings before they venture forth into battle. One Step To The Lake Below is one of the heaviest songs on the record, with fast rhythms, soaring vocals, and a hook after hook. Sentenced To Death is another epic number, Crom have hit a jack pot here.
Rain is a thoughtful acoustic number, displaying anthemic tendencies, a song that is sure to get the crowd singing along. When Northmen Die is epic. Layered and detailed, it is simply fantastic. Farwell Song is aptly named, mournful, haunting, a fitting closer. The Millenium King is a bonus track and is heavy, a song that can be used to get a mosh pit going.
With When Northmen Die, Crom have found the perfect balance between moderation and heaviness, epicness and chants. This is a masterful album. 10/10.