An album that mentions ‘epic’ and ‘artistic freedom’ in the same breath could end up as a questionable exercise in histrionics or a thing of progressive magnitude.
As luck has it, Finnish pagan bludgeoners Brymir have assembled a gamut of influences to create an awesome soundtrack to the apocalypse. Veering from the classical orchestration à la Nightwish and latter-day Dimmu Borgir, through Strapping Young Lad-esque malevolence to the galloping shenanigans that are typical of the Finnish pagan scene, Slayer Of Gods is uncompromisingly forceful while bordering on the brutal with Viktor Gullichsen’s screams.
Brymir might be overshadowed by compatriots like Wintersun and Ensiferum, but their tendency to veer off track by peppering their songs with digital sound effects and shrill, clean-sung sections is enough to ensure they carve a place for themselves. And if you consider that these gruff Finns recorded, produced, engineered and mixed the whole album themselves, with no financial help, then the formidable and scrupulously polished end product seems that little bit more impressive.