Einherjer was formed in January 1993 by Frode Glesnes (Guitar) and Gerhard Storesund (Drums). The band was, and still is, based in Haugesund, a small town at the westcoast of Norway. The intention and the goal as musicians has always been to try to capture the atmosphere and the feeling there is to Norse mythology, combined with the intensity of heavy metal music. As the first flyers for "Aurora Borealis" so clearly stated; "Out of the wastes of the Northern hemisphere, comes the most epic & atmospheric Viking Metal. Charged with the power of Mjølner. Enchanted by the mysticism of the land of Thule." A very strong statement, but it is the code that Einherjer still live by. Therefore we label Einherjer's music as Viking Metal.
The name Einherjer is taken from the Norse mythology, Einherjer is a vikings life after death. When a viking was slained in battle, he was brought up to Valhalla by the Valkyries, for then to join the army of Einherjers and help the Gods in their clash against the Giants in the age of Ragnarok.
THE FIRST RECORDINGS
Einherjer entered the studio for the first time in december 1993, to record the demo "Aurora Borealis". The line-up was Grimar (Frode) - guitar, Ulvar (Gerhard) - drums, Nidhogg (Rune Bjelland) - vocals and Thonar (Audun Wold) - bass & synth. The demo was very well recieved by the underground metalscene and today it is regarded as a cult-release in the genre. "Aurora Borealis" consisted of 4 songs and today, nearly 8 years later, two of the songs are still highlights in the liveset. A very strong release indeed. The first Einherjer gig ever, happened 11.March 1994 as support to Enslaved at their releaseparty for "Vikingligr Veldi". If my memory from that time serves me correct, Einherjer opened with a song called "Holmgang". A song that was recorded for a Compilation album sometime in 1994, but it was never released. Parts of the song appeared later in songs like "Fimbul Winter" and "Conquerer"."Aurora Borealis" made quite a fuzz in the underground-scene and it lead to a seven-inch deal with Necromantic Gallery Prod./Damnation Dist. Einherjer entered the studio for the second time in May 1994 to record seven inch "Leve Vikingånden". As the demo, the seven incher was well recieved by the undergroundscene and as the demo, it soon gained a cult-status. After the release of "Leve Vikingånden", Necropolis Records got in touch. They wanted to release "Aurora Borealis" as a mini-cd. Einherjer accepted the offer, but unfortuneately by the time it was released, "demos on CD" had suddenly become the new trend. But regardless of what should have been done and what shouldn't, it is very nice to have such an outstanding demo available on CD.
DRAGONS OF THE NORTH / FAR FAR NORTH
After the release of "Aurora Borealis" and "Leve Vikingånden", Einherjer were offered quite a few deals and in 1996 the band finally signed with Napalm Records in Austria. Some line-up changes were done as the addition of Stein Sund on bass and Audun (Thonar) returned to his original profession as a guitarist. The Einherjer line-up had never been stronger. "Dragons of the North" was recorded during the summer 1996 in the now legendary Grieghallen Studio with Eirik "Pytten" Hundvin as producer. "Dragons of the North" recieved unbelievable critics from all over the world and it is today regarded by many as THE viking metal album. The same line-up returned to Grieghallen Studio in January 1997 to record the mini-album "Far Far North". "Far Far North" was supposed to be a single for the second Einherjer album, but things doesn't always work out as planned. Einherjer got an offer from Century Media, an offer which Frode and Gerhard really wanted to accept....and eventually did. The costs of accepting such an offer was a bit higher than expected and Einherjer became a two-piece band. Indifferences beetween Frode & Gerhard and the rest of the band regarding how much effort they ment was appropriate for a band such as Einherjer resulted in fact that Audun, Rune and Stein decided to leave."Far Far North was their final recording with Einherjer.
ODIN OWNS YE ALL
Frode and Gerhard didn't give up and they probably never will. A new vocalist was found. His name was Ragnar Vikse. As you can hear on the album, "Odin Owns Ye All" was a bit different from the other Einherjer releases. But fact is that the "clean-cut, 87'kind of metal" was something that Gerhard & Frode had been thinking about for years. The album was probably just something they needed to get out of their systems. Another new man in the band was the bassist, Erik Elden. A very skilled bassist with alot of energy to give. "Odin Owns Ye All" was Einherjer second release on Century Media. The album was recorded in Los Angered Recording in Gothenburg/Sweden and the producer was no other than Andy LaRocque (The lead guitarist of King Diamond) "Odin Owns Ye All" reached recordstores in Europe in may 1998. The same month as Einherjer were leaving their native country to kick off their first european tour, as support to one of the worlds biggest black metal bands, Cradle of Filth. The tour lasted for five weeks , invading eleven countries. Erik Elden was forced to leave prior to this tour and Tchort (Satyricon/Emperor) was hired as sessionbassist.
NORWEGIAN NATIVE ART
1999 was a year of rehearsing and intensive songwriting . A new guitarist, Aksel Herløe, joined in january. Einherjer played the Quart festival in June which turned out to be a "farewell" party for Tchort as this was his last gig with Einherjer. Einherjer and Century Media decided to end their co-operation and Einherjer formed their own label Native North Records. In October 1999, Einherjer returned to Andy LaRoqcue's studio, Los Angered Recordings in Gothenburg to record their so far most outstanding album, "Norwegian Native Art". The former Einherjer bassist Stein Sund was hired as a session bassist. With "Norwegian Native Art", Einherjer moved to a more different musical landscape where the dismal and agressive atmosphere were conspicuous. The production was grimmer than ever and the album positively reeked of raw energy. Many who didn't like "Odin Owns Ye All" that much, because of its "drunken chants by the fire" kind of metal, now found a new favourite Einherjer album. After many one-off gigs in the wake of "Norwegian Native Art", Einherjer suddenly found themselves as support for King Diamond on the European leg of their "House of God" world tour. Needless to say, this was a great tour for Einherjer with sold-out shows almost every night. Directly from the European tour, Einherjer went overseas to do their first US-appearance at the Metal Meltdown III in New Jersey. Based on the success of the New Jersey festival, Einherjer were invited over as one of the headliners of the Milwaukee Metalfest. To say that their second appearance in US was a success is a huge understatement.
NEW ALBUM - NEW VOCALIST
This statement was posted at einherjer.com the first week in february ;"On behalf of Einherjer, we'd like to inform you that Ragnar Vikse is no longer in the band. It is nearly a decade since we entered the studio for the first time to record our demosongs, compiled into a tape that we called Aurora Borealis. We were young, but we had visions and we had will. We were to create most epic & atmospheric Viking Metal. Charged with the power of our heroic ancestors vigour and courage. Enchanted by the mysticism of their strong, undivded belief. Through the years, we have gone through many changes & we've had our ups and downs. We've done great albums and we've done great gigs, but we feel that we've reached a point were we have drifted a bit too far from, what we see as, our initial basis. This hasn't been an overnight decision, and it has certainly not been easy, but we felt the time was right to follow our hearts and take immediate action. The fact that Ragnar is out of the band, doesn't change the pride we feel for the last 4-5 years of Einherjers existence. It's just that we've tighten the grip in order to present what Einherjer is all about. We want more of what's right in our hearts. We want to rebuild the essence of our musical approach, the way it was meant to be. Dark, mysterious & enchanting music with equally dark, mysterious & enchanting vocals. The Art of Viking Metal in its original form. Please welcome one of our founding members as our new singer - Frode Glesnes." Needless to say, it's not over yet...