Taking their moniker from the Norse mythology term for the slain warriors who are brought to Valhalla by valkyries to join Odin's table, Norway's Einherjer emerged in 1993 with a sound that combines folk, symphonic black metal, and lyrics steeped in Scandinavian and North Germanic folklore. Early adopters of the Viking metal genre, the band released their debut album, Dragons of the North, in 1996. Einherjer ceased operations in 2004, but re-formed in 2010 and went on to issue a string of acclaimed blackened Viking metal efforts, including 2014's Av Oss for Oss, which earned a Spellemannsprisen (Norwegian Grammy) nomination for Best Metal Album of the year, and 2021's acclaimed North Star.
Frode Glesnes (guitar) and Gerhard Storesund (drums) formed Einherjer in early 1993 in their home municipality of Haugesund. They hit the studio later that year with singer Rune Bjelland and bassist Audun Wold to record their demo Aurora Borealis (subsequently reissued in early 2000). After some recognition throughout the Scandinavian area courtesy of the demo and some touring, their second EP, Leve Vikingaanden, was released in 1994. Come 1996, after Wold's move to second guitar and the addition of bassist Stein Sund, a deal was struck with Napalm Records, which would release the group's first full-length effort, Dragons of the North. Their follow-up EP, Far Far North, was issued by Century Media Records in 1997. After a bit of a lineup change, Glesnes and Storesund remained as Ragnar Viske took over on the mike, while Erik Elden filled in on bass duties. With the lineup finally intact, Einherjer's second full-length outing, Odin Owns Ye All, saw the light of day in 1998. Einherjer released two more studio albums, 2000's Norwegian Native Art and 2003's Blot, before officially disbanding the following year.
Glesnes and Storesund re-formed the group in 2010 and, after inking a deal with Norwegian metal label Indie Recordings, released their long-awaited fifth long-player, Norrøn. The band found commercial success with the arrival of 2014's Spellemannsprisen-nominated Av Oss for Oss which, like its predecessor, pared back some of the folk elements of earlier releases in favor of a more melodic blackened metal approach. A re-recording of 1996's Dragons of the North appeared in 2016, followed by North Star in 2021. ~ Mike DaRonco & James Christopher Monger