The album kicks off with the title track, which builds slowly into a cinematic and diverse song with Kristine’s singing offset by Krull’s growls. “Emerald Island” is a strong song, ebbing and flowing in tempo and intensity. “Through Your Veins” is one of the most accessible and mainstream leaning songs on Njord, with all melodic vocals and a nice combination of heaviness and melody.
“Irish Rain” is more subdued with acoustic guitars, a prominent flute, reserved vocals and more of a folk metal vibe. “Morgenland” is also in that vein, with piano and Kristine’s vocals in the forefront. Leaves Eyes tackles the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair,” popularized by Simon and Garfunkel in the mid 1960s. It’s given a symphonic arrangement with plenty of guitars and atmosphere, and is well-done.
The lyrical concept of Njord covers Nordic mythology. Kristine’s vocal performance on this album is outstanding. Her voice runs the gamut from quiet and emotional to “regular” singing to belting it out in a powerful classical style. She also sings in an astounding eight languages on the album, including English, Norwegian, Gaelic, and even a made up language for one brief sequence.
(released October 13, 2009 on Napalm Records)