[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
Janne Posti & Iiro Sarkki live in Haparanda, Sweden and Jyväskylä, Finland, and they have assembled forces in Haparanda, the northernmost part of Sweden, to forge a solid and lofty epic heavy metal musical scenario.
Such a metal genre should scent in the nostrils of today’s hungry metallers as Haydn resounds to a Sibelius enthusiast: familiarly obsolete and timelessly nostalgic. The debut hymn, “Myrkrafar”, captures instantly the soul of old of Bathory and Immortal (post -Damned in Black era) devotees, bearing the prosody of an epic musical tale. Sons of Crom restructures with elegance the common bathoresque arpeggios, using a modern musical utterance that has been shaped in time by now important metal figures like Moonsorrow or Falkenbach. “Master Of Shadows” is a fine example of such an intelligent, beautiful craft of new elements of sensibility being weaved upon an old canvas.
You may believe the whole album to be a continuous epic movement, but “Riddle Of Steel” has reserved for us enticing surprises, like the acoustic “Golden Gates”, which is a mysterious, shivering warrior poem, that recalls the finesse and sense of acuteness of Dan Swano with his Nightingale project. And then “Call Of The Black Mountain” breathes a fresh pure metal, revolving around sheer inspiration and disregarding genre limitations.
A similar surprise one may have had with the last Enslaved album, “Riitiir”, taking the elements of progressive extreme metal to a scale too far compared to their beginnings. With Sons of Crom such a prejudice is absent, since they only have an EP released before “Riddle Of Steel”, so there’s no room or basis for dissatisfaction. If any of us still frown in regret, the “Cimmerian Dance” should raise up our spirits: a balladesque guitar work of ritual proportions.
The song “Victory” stretches considerably longer, evolving on an ambitious classic development of euphonious rhythms, juxtaposed in harmonious lines written to portray the wandering of a hero. A marvellous touch of poetry; all the more sorrowful and pervading due to its platonic and idealistic figure of the ancient warrior. But the symbol has the power to resurrect such an ideal, at least in the hearts of these Sons of Crom, and they end this pilgrimage with the “Seven Spells” (The Riddle of Steel) cast upon us in piano key.
Debemur Morti released this record in 2014; it is presented on a vinyl version as well. And will remain present on our version of the metallic soul during this “journey into the depths of the universal soul that lives within each of us. In many ways, we are all sons of Crom.” (Janne, in an interview for lordsofmetal).