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WLM Reviews: Crom – When Northmen Die

November 5, 2017
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Normally one-man-projects come across as lacking for me. Not always, but many times. Crom has thrown a wrench into that line of thinking with When Northmen Die on Pure Steel Records.

Walter “Crom“ Grosse is releasing the third album of his former side project of Dark Fortress. Coming into this, I did some research on Grosse and his background. Most of what I found on him related to Black Metal bands and projects. That did not bolster confidence in When Northmen Die. Being familiar with Pure Steel, I thought I’d give it a chance anyway.

Crom, it turns out, is a straight up Power Metal effort, with essentially no Blackness to be heard. Sure there are some Doom elements and references to Bathory – more in the lyrical department than musically. The Viking aspect of Crom pushes me more towards comparisons with bands like Tyr and Heidevolk, mainly due to the clean baritone of Crom himself. I also hear some Vintersorg influences here and there, which is a good thing.

The songs of When Northmen Die are varied and, for the most part, interesting and compelling. Crom’s vocals are well done, as he has a good singing voice and a decent range. From the blistering Behold the Lights all the way through to the placid closing notes of Farewell Song, Crom holds my attention – most of the time.

At times presenting a Doom Metal feel (All Alone, One Step to the Lake Below), sometimes much more subdued (Dear Father, I’m With You, Rain), or flat out aggressive (Shields of Gold, Betrayal), Crom certainly has an epicness in focus and strives for that bigger than life sound. It doesn’t hurt to present lyrics about Vikings and glorious battle to take it to the next level. The title track seems to incorporate all three, making for the best track of the album.  Definitely worth hearing.

Here is Shields of Gold:

Going in, I didn’t know what to expect, but Crom has quickly made a fan of me with When Northmen Die. Would love to see him-them on a tour with some of the heavierweight Pagan Metal bands out there. Check this one out.



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One Response to WLM Reviews: Crom – When Northmen Die

  1. cocksucker on November 8, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Nice

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