Brymir are often described as a folk or pagan metal band, and given their Norse-sounding name and their image, this classification is understandable, but I would argue that they are much more of a symphonic metal band than a pure folk/pagan metal band – at least on the debut album Breathe Fire to the Sun, which was released in April this year.
In all fairness, there are folk melodies and folk instrumentation on the album, but this does not strike me as the dominant feature. Brymir make use of symphonic synth effects and symphonic orchestration, which is much more dominant in composition and in the mix than the folk elements are, and the overall texture of the tracks on this album is one of lush grandeur and epicness.
In essence, Breathe Fire to the Sun is essentially a melodic death metal release with a quite symphonic twist, and a couple of elements from speed metal, power metal and melodic black metal, which, I am sure, will appeal to a lot of people. The musicianship is impeccable, and, with the use of harsh vocals and high speed blastbeats, the can be no doubt that we are dealing with heavy and intense music with elements of extreme metal, but also with a very melodic feel. For some reason, the symphonic aspect of this particular release does not sit too well with me. It is not that I do not like symphonic metal in general, but the symphonic elements and the epic effect on this album are perhaps a bit over the top and have a certain cheesy quality to them. I do love 'Cycle of Flame' with its so-metal-it-hurts use of hammer-against-anvil sounds.
In any case, Breathe Fire to the Sun is not a bad release, and I think that fans of symphonic extreme metal and other sorts of symphonic metal will enjoy it immensely.
3. In Silence
4. A Free Man's Path
5. Burning Within
6. Withering Past
7. Cycle of Flame
10. Breathe Fire to the Sun