Band – Burden of Ymir
Album – Heorot
Country of Origin – Canada
Genre – Folk/Black Metal
Release Date – March 10, 2023
Label – Flowing Downward
Author – Hayduke X
The prolific and multi-talented Joe Caswell is back with another into his varied discography. Burden of Ymir is his solo project which mixes folk influences into black metal and tells tales (mostly) of Norse mythology. On Heorot, Caswell mixes up the themes a bit by taking on the story of Beowulf. I’ve been following this project since near its inception – indeed, Burden may be the first Caswell project I heard – but haven’t written about it until this point. I can argue that it’s due to time constraints, which is certainly at least partly true, but the reality is that I’m exceptionally picky about folk metal. I find too much of it to be too over the top. Heorot is too good to ignore, however, so here we are.
This latest album has some of the lilting harmonies which I struggle with in most folk metal, but in this case they are not overdone. They are also tempered with excellent riffs and a solid rhythmic foundation. There is even some quality lead work which wouldn’t be out of place in a traditional heavy metal track from the 80s. Just past the halfway mark of The Great Mead Hall comes to mind as an example. There’s even some incredible accordion work. Caswell’s rasps weave through the whole of it with earnest power.
Burden of Ymir makes ‘big’ music which would not be out of place in a…well, in a mead hall full of warriors with mugs of mead in their meaty paws. This is music for singing along in drunken voices, for rousing the spirit of warriors before battle, or for dancing, full of glee, through the moshpit. Though the musical styles have some significant differences, I think a Burden of Ymir/Amon Amarth live show would be a ton of fun. Maybe Caswell will put together a live lineup at some point and make that happen. For now, check out Heorot below.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.