You surely cannot accuse EINHERJER of releasing their albums in an exaggerated rush. Since their beginnings they took their time to do their releases, which most probably also is due to the numerous line-up changes. Also between "Norwegian Native Art" and "Blot" we had one, fittingly enough again on the vocals, Ragnar Vikse is no longer with EINHERJER, guitarist Frode Glesnes has faced up the new responsibility and rest assured that for a long time there has not been such a mean voice with EINHERJER as on this, their fourth complete album!
"Blot", Norwegian for "Ritual Sacrifice", starts unusual with a completely folky/classical intro titled "Einherjermarsjen", which could be used for a soundtrack for "Lord Of The Rings" or something comparable without alteration, I like that one already. Following "Ironbound" then is EINHERJER how we know and love them, stomping, with the so typical folk influenced melodies and rhythms, a bit more extensively used keyboards and Frode's mean, hoarse growl, which does not really take a lot of talent, but automatically conjures up pictures of Vikings in full armour. Of course Gerhard Storesund also is allowed to present us with his typical double-bass style, as in the mostly slow to mid paced, epic "Dead Knight's Rite", together with the quite original riffing of the Norwegians one of the trademarks of EINHERJER.
"Wolf-Age" then is a good bit faster and with a very distinct lead/riff, which sticks to your brain right away and gives the song a very high memorability factor. "Hammer Haus" at times thunders through the speakers like a hailstorm, driven by double-bass, very melodic, but still heavy, in the guitars we almost have a certain traditional Metal touch, very varied, while "Ride The Gallows" starts out very calm, just to stomp through the knee deep snow in typical EINHERJER fashion, but still with enough variety in structure and speed, which is one attribute characterising "Blot" in general: Layered, but always catchy compositions, which combine all trademarks of the Norwegians, yet without repeating or even copying themselves.
"Ingen Grid" brings us something completely new in the Northmen's sound, very slow paced and semi balladesque (meaning with some faster passages), with acoustic and emotional electric guitars, very good choir vocals, highly melodic, very strong song! "Berserkergang" musically nicely alternates between calm passages including some harp and stomping mid tempo, everything with Frode's gruff vocals, which definitely will be one decisive factor, if you might want to get "Blot" or not. What also strikes is that we get more instrumental parts than in the past, but without unnecessarily stretching the songs.
After "Odin Owns Ye All" undoubtedly had been the nadir of the EINHERJER career (without being a really bad album, though), "Norwegian Native Art" already showed that they were on their way back towards their pinnacle "Dragons From The North" and "Blot" consequently continues this, as said before, without copying themselves (yet without reaching "Dragons From The North", which to me still is one of the absolutely best Viking Metal albums of all time!). Frode Glesnes' rough vocals are one element that will split the opinions, but the music still is so typically EINHERJER, with all the melodies, folky elements and that, that I can wholeheartedly can say that with them Viking Metal still has a solid pillar, which fans of this style should get. (Online December 20, 2003)