The opening of “Gleipnirs Smeder” is really not that impressive. In fact, almost the first two minutes of the track is something that sounds more like a brick of noise than anything leading into the brand of metal that Jotunspor would eventually lead their listeners into. It takes the band a good five mionutes to get into the meat and potatoes of “Gleipnirs Smeder”, but when they get into that, the results are fucking dynamite. The intensity and fury that the band brings to the table may be moderated by a production that heavily favors the instrumental portion of the band, but even that cannot stop the band from kicking ass and taking names.
The band shows that they are very adept in creation “dungeon metal”. In fact, the entirety of the track “Svartalvheims Djup” (which is over seven minutes) is just that. I understand the necessity to create a context for the rest of the tracks on a disc, but I do not see the point in wrecking your momentum with a track like “Svartalvheims Djup”. The presence of this track means that the bulk of “Solartijuven” has to build back up the careful fury of Jotunspor. By the time that the vocals finally come back into play, the band have used two minutes restarting the disc that could be better used rocking their fans. It makes sense to slow things down, but the tempo that Jotunspor takes on this disc is torturous at times; someone needs to get them going at points here. When the band is forced into a shorter track (such as the sub-four minute track “Freke Han Renn”), the slower sound is still present but there is the same fury present that first brought listeners on board during “Gleipnirs Smeder”.
A long story short, Jotunspor is a metal band that knows how to properly bring different styles and approaches to metal to their fans. There are points on this album where the disc drags, but it is only for a short period of time as the band diagnoses and fixes the problem. The second half is fundamentally stronger than the first, and this is due to the fact that the band is able to build off of the momentum created after “Svartalvheims Djup”. I want to hear more from the band and see exactly what they still have up their sleeve for future albums.
Top Track: Gleipnirs Smeder
Jotunspor – Gleipnirs Smeder / 2006 Candlelight / 7 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/jotunspor / http://www.candlelightrecordsamerica.com / Reviewed 09 August 2006