“Haunted Shores“ is the already third album of the Viking-/Black Metallers HIMINBJORG. Due to a label change, their new record label Adipocere Records releases this album again and as bonus, you get the also already released “Third” mini-CD. The package is complete with a new cover artwork and song lyrics.
If you have already these records, then you don’t need to read further as you know what to expect. HIMINBJORG play a mixture of Viking and Black Metal with much atmosphere, melodies and a mostly melancholic and depressive touch. The band plays most in midtempo and they have created such anthems like the first three songs from “Haunted Shores”. “The Olves”, “War” and the titletrack are heavy but still catchy and always ennobled by some little but enchanting melodies. Subtly used acoustic guitars serve for the necessary diversity and for the melancholic mood. Vocally, they alternate between the two guitarists Mathrien and Zahaah. Sometimes, they offer screaming, sometimes it’s rather clean. It’s the mixture, which makes HIMINBJORG interesting. Just listen to a song like “The Eternal” with as well calmer parts as also more brutal Black Metal parts. Especially the “Haunted Shores” part of this re-release appeals to me concerning the songs. There is no filler on it. So let’s come to the bonus tracks of the “Third” mini-CD. The first song “The Fading Whispers” is very sluggish and heavy. This song is darker as well as more melancholic than the previous seven songs of “Haunted Shores”. The double track „The Great Time With The Grass Part I + II“ is then pure Black Metal a la IMMORTAL or DISSECTION. But the band subtly varies the pace, which serves for variety. Apart from the rather spacey “An Ode To The Older”, all remaining songs from the “Third” material are Black Metal.
After all, I have to say, that the songs from „Haunted Shores“ sound more Viking Metal and the material of „Third“ is rather Black Metal. “Haunted Shores” would get 8,5 points from me because the songs are catchier and more diversified than the songs from “Third”. I would rate those mini-CD with “only” 7,5 points because its Black Metal isn’t outstanding but also not bad. Altogether, it’s up to 8 points for this re-release. Who doesn’t know this band and wants to save some money, can order it. Fans, who have already these two recordings, don’t have to spent their money again. I believe, the sound production hasn’t changed and the new cover is not worth the whole money.
Check-out tips: all songs from “Haunted Shores” (tracks 1-7) (Online November 20, 2004)