Stygian Crypt Productions
The band started as a project of 3 friends in Ukraine back in 2007. The musicians wanted to create music that can somehow pay tribute to the Vikings, who do have a great history as people and there is no doubt they played a major role in the medieval times of human history. Also the name MIELLNIR is a paraphrase of the name of THOR’s hammer mjolnir.
THE COVER: The painting that is on the cover of the band’s album is quite typical for the metal genre, though it is beautiful (after all I love beautiful and well given clichés). It shows a drakkar (Viking longship) that sails on a stormy sea. I think it represents perfectly the adventurous spirit of those people and also the music of MIELLNIR.
MUSICAL STYLE: If you haven’t figured it out then let me tell you that MIELLNIR play the genre we are used to calling Viking metal. This is their debut album which actually is kind of a compilation since all the tracks that are included here were not written in the same time period. MIELLNIR, though, is not the typical Viking metal band that we get to listen to these past years. I mean they don’t overuse happy folkish melodies or symphonic parts. Of course they do have these elements, but the core of their sound is a mixture of black, death and even epic heavy metal music.
COMPOSITIONS: The debut album includes 10 compositions which as I mentioned above were composed in different time periods. The fact though is that you can’t understand this. The compositions are dark and epic and this is achieved because the band uses elements of old school death metal (imagine something like good old AMON AMARTH), they also have epic black metal elements in the vein of IMMORTAL and sometimes they sound like less symphonic DIMMU BORGIR. They do also have folk melodies and symphonic parts but they use them in moderation and this works beneficially for the whole album. I like they way they evolve their music which starts like a black or death metal song and somewhere they throw in a folk melody that surprises you and sticks into your mind.
CONCLUSION: I know that there are many bands out there that claim to play Viking metal. Most of them sound like happy European power metal bands with some harsh vocals and lots of folk melodies. MIELLNIR don’t belong to this kind of bands since they have a monolithic dark and epic sound and I am sure that people who still seek for good old Viking metal will like them a lot. They might not be innovative, but surely they have imagination and have created an album that stands out from the “thousands” of Viking metal releases that are produced each year.