ABBATH – Outstrider  – Season of Mist 

Honing the skills!

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Outstrider, the sophomore Abbath album is great. Much greater than its predecessor from 2016 Abbath.

Outstrider show almost no influence of his previous band Immortal, and apart of that a new line up which always make things sound different.

In this album, although at least one song remembers Immortal, the others absolutely don’t.

The album is focused in more like a strange and perfect mix of old school metal and a subtle industrial influence. How come?

Okay let’s start from the beginning: Calm in Ire (of Hurricane) is the most complex song of the album, I think he would like to cause a different impact and he got it right.

Bridge of Spasms enters in a Bathory-esque empire with a “hardcore sound” inside the purest Black Metal possible. Scandinavian and violent to the bone.

The Artifex follows suit but in the middle of the song, it showcases a pure heavy metal solo, and funniest thing without being a “mixture”. It shows that Black Metal is still more Metal than Black, as it SHOULD be natural in all other bands! At another angle: is it heavy metal inside black or it’s just black metal? No one should answer that question. But it’s all there. But even with that there is another thing that one should notice: over again the Bathory-esque appears in full, mainly from the phase of Requiem and Octagon, the drum fills at the beginning put me back in the old days.

Harvest Pyre, although more assertive, still shows some traces of Immortal, mainly the dramatic sound from the album At the Hart of Winter. But don’t worry, it’s just a natural spasm and nobody here is accusing the man of being non-creative.

The Land of Khem alternates between the insane black metal attack and the insane Abbath vocals. At this point it is impossible to not realize that the perfect production is heavy as hell.

The title track is the most progressive and dramatic of the album, mid-tempo song, but it doesn’t break the logic of the album whatsoever. It makes perfect sense with its high-pitched solos.

Scythewinder is craziest and no-frills song of the album, concentrating itself in the way Abbath sings and the occasional guitar theme. One will not get disappointed.

Hecate is a black metal faster than the speed of light and if one had any doubt about the truest black metal nature of this album, even though the greatest production, this doubt vanishes in the thin air.  Over again the semi-acoustic guitar by the end of the song remembers something like Blood Fire Death.

Talking about that…

… the closer is a proper Bathory cover from that album Pace Till Death. It’s identical and even the part when Quorton from some limitations of the production in 1988 enters singing (second stanza), in a part that he shouldn’t (but as headbangers we are used to that, ahem, mistake), Abbath does the very same thing at the very same place.

Fun is a word for it.

The thing is that Outstrider is a perfect album of an artist who is in the business for far too long to commit any crimes against black metal. The album is perfect. Nothing less than that.

Outstrider is out TODAY Season of Mist on CD, LP Black Vinyl, LP Silver Vinyl, LP Clear Vinyl, Cassette Tape, all the digital platforms as Deezer and Spotify and on Bandcamp for streaming or download in high quality (this version doesn’t contain the Bathory Cover).

Rating 10/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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NORDJEVEL – Necrogenesis – Osmose Productions

Norwegian Black Metal still breathes.

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When one thinks that all is said and done, then comes the new Nordjevel album to prove us otherwise. Necrogenesis comes maintaining the Nordic tradition of Black Metal, but the fact is, it’s not the different sound that bands like Vreid, Borknagar, IHSAHN and Enslaved do.

It’s is something more like Taake and Tsjuder with Immortal production.

The sound is pure black metal, don’t you dare having any doubt about it, but is it original?

Sunset Glow starts off the album with a decent sound, but it has nothing great about it in its 3-something minute.

However, Devilry comes with a melodic sound, but fast as the speed of light, so this song is dead on! Some non-atonal riffs permeate the whole song and there’s even a syncopated drumming in the midst of it.

The Idea Of One-Ness is very complex music, although never going to “experimental” or “avant-garde” side of the force.

Black Lights From The Void remembers me Dark Funeral in it’s slow-paced moments. It’s melodic and not so creative, whereas is not boring at all.

Conversely Amen Whores, although the great chorus, it’s not that impressive.

The Fevered Lands is a great track, fast as hell, noisy and somewhat confusing, somewhat fitting in the general proposal of the album.

Nazarene Necrophilia is less noisy, backing to the “melodic” black metal, (I’m not talking Dimmu Borgir here), now this one remembering Immortal mainly in the involuntary nods to thrash metal.

The complexity of Apokalusis Eschation makes it one of the best songs of the album. A myriad of nuances, earworm riffs, just great.

The epic Panzerengel, the song that packs the album has something of spectacular in it, larger than life track with Wagnerian vibes.

Necrogenesis might not be original, it resounds (as aforementioned, Taake, Immortal, Dark Funeral a lot), but the complexity, the familiarity with the instruments, the somewhat gritty mastering, all points to an excellent opus. It’s difficult to dislike it. It’s difficult to try and find flaws in it. Once one hears it one knows he’s in a conundrum between originality and professionalism. The latter wins.

Necrogenisis is out now on Osmose Production.

Rating: 7,5/10


Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Vreid – Lifehunger (Season of Mist)

This a masterpiece. And masterpieces are hard to describe.

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Vreid started from the ashes of Windir, started as a pure Black Metal statement, and on each album they’ve been becoming better and better. I believe Lifehunger is their zenith so far!

This album is what I want in an album: aggressive, soulful, metal, creative!

One the best bands that hail from Norway nowadays (hands down!) along with Enslaved, Borknagar, Iskald and Solefald, this album just proves that they deserve even more for their approach on Black Metal.

After the acoustic starter Flowers and Blood, the band goes on a black metal binge in the song One Hundres Years, with excellent musicianship, although not so fancy, but heck, they play so full of energy that it’s impossible to stay put. The band goes to some clean vocals, just to return to a pure Nordic Black Metal attack, varying tempos and nuances.

The thrasher Lifehunger is aggressive and calls quickly for a black metal blast beat, and as the song veers to the dark side, out of the blue they give a nod to Metallica’s Enter Sandman (or Excel if you know what I REALLY mean), this musical piece a variation of that music with raspy vocals spewing blasphemies just to return to the killer riff and black metal mode. Man, this is one of the best things I’ve heard this year!

The party continues on the Dead White with a dramatic riff, and heavy metal mid-tempo, a must for those who just want to headbang. Over again the song changes, but this time, it’s a beautiful acoustic guitar that takes place… well shortly, just to explode again in a lethal metal.

The strange track here is Hello Darkness, maybe because the black metal growls are abandoned in favor of a more post-punk approach. Clean vocals all the way and simpler riffs don’t prevent the song of being extremely heavy in this strange concept.

Black Rites in the Black Nights has a punctuate way of singing, (the black vocals are back here), the song is extremely heavy but not fast and it’s the longest song of the album, 6+ minutes. It’s the more progressive among the others.

Ha, now they are back in the terrorist mode with the Sokrates Must Die. Fast as fuck, a mix between black and thrash (interestingly enough not blackened thrash metal) it goes to some uncharted territory, maybe with something of Sarke, but so much faster.

Heimatt closes the album with a melancholic note, but the tune has a crescendo of riffs and the final solo is inspiring. It’s a instrumental song, where they bet everything and they WIN!

Lifehunger is not an experimental album though. Vreid, although the accented difference from the previous albums, continues to be a black metal band, not some avant-garde venture. But they simply use the black metal as their basis and put what they want inside, over and between. That’s not a salad. It’s the most incredible form of music!

Lifehunger is out NOW on Season of Mist.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Iskald – Innhøstinga (Indie Recordings)

The true evolution.

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Iskald is a relatively young band. With a first independent EP recorded and released in 2006, the band released five albums so far (including Innhøstinga). The progress they made since then is clear, mainly if one compares the new album to the last one, released in 2014 called Nedom og Nord.

Funny thing is that people use to call them Thrash metal (really?) or Melodic Black Metal (which makes more sense). Granted, if by thrash metal people are thinking about Immortal’s At the Heart of Winter era, then it makes some sense, but honestly Iskald is much more than just a comparative measure.

True to their original take on Black Metal, the band follow the tradition of the extreme metal bands from Norway to create something totally outwordly. Innhøstinga (which is Norwegian for The Harvest) takes the band to an extreme level, much more complex than before with changes of tempo being the main course back to back!

The songs are difficult to fathom at the first spins, and primarily the songs that stand out are the first track The Atrocious Horror – a track that sets the pace for the rest of the opus – and No Amen – a more recognizable effort that shows the listener something near a strong chorus.

Although black metallers like Even Dawn Drew Twilight appear, the heaviness is muddy and moody.

The serpentine guitars are tricky for the guy who is trying to catch them, so lots of spins are necessary to stick in the memory. The example is the song Resting, Not In Peace with so many layers that is confusing sometimes, but that’s the album’s charm.

The disc never goes through the motions and once the listener learn the ropes the album turns essential. The growls of the track From Traitor to Beast along with the beefy riffs are second to none.

Innhøstinga proves something very important for a band like Iskald: if they’ve been under the headbanger’s radar for so much time, it isn’t the case now. Although one can easily start with this album, the curiosity will grow and people will discover their excellent moments in the previous efforts too. They were born to be big. Time will prove that I am right!

Innhøstinga is out now on Indie Recordings on vinyl and digipak CD.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Immortal is coming back!

They are on studio in Sweden.

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A statement on their Facebook page says that Horgh – real name Reidar Horghagen – (Immortal, Hypocrisy) has just completed the drums for the next Immortal album. Nothing is said about the tracking list or the title of the album or even if Apollyon – real name Ole Jørgen Moe – (Aura Noir, Waklevören, ex-Cadaver, Ex- Dødheimsgard) is participating on the sessions.

Of course, the drums were recorded at The Abyss by Peter Tägtgren. More information soon.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Darkthrone premieres first track of Arctic Thunder

Track is already available on Soundcloud.

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Maybe the cvltest band of the Earth, Darkthrone announced days ago the cover art for Arctic Thunder, their upcoming 17th official  album named after the obscure Norwegian band of the same name. 

The opening track of Arctic Thunder is called Tundra Leech and can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/heavytassen/01-tundra-leech-premiere . According to Fenriz, the track was taken from the TEST press of the vinyl version. There are some voiceovers before, and by the end of the track.

Arctic Thunder is going to be released on October 14th, 2016. The vinyl version will come with two different logo colors, one totally white as seen below and the other with a fiery color. Pre-orders can be made on the Darkthrone official page: https://www.facebook.com/Darkthrone-101075189934422/?fref=ts

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(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Cold, grim uncompromising Blashyrkh metal.

The ninth Immortal studio album is ready

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Reads on Facebook:

– This will be our darkest and coldest album in a long time: pure Blashyrkh metal the way our fans know it, with massive majestic riffs, grim frostbitten vocals and tales from our mighty realm. Fast and furious tracks, epic tracks and longer playtime than any of our previous albums.

Demonaz, the founding member of Immortal is now also handling the vocals.

– The massive fansupport has been very inspiring and we will not let down the fans. The last year we have completed all the new songs and look forward to record our most passionate album in a long time. The songwriting process has been awesome and we are soon ready to start the recordings.

Immortal promises to bring back the old Spirit:

– After the last years incidents it was time to go back to the roots to what this band is really about musically, and also to take the integrity of the band back to where it belongs. Cold, grim uncompromising Blashyrkh metal with a true feeling is what we deliver.

Demonaz accused Abbath of taking the work they did together to be the successor of All Shall Fall, change the lyrics and transforming it in his new “solo” album

– We had to focus on making a new album nearly from scratch, which is the main reason why things have taken this much time. We are now looking forward to record the new album and present it to all those who have shown their loyalty and support.

IMMORTAL has always been a unique and unstoppable force, and that goes for our fans as well. We will never change our music or attitude.

The album title and song titles will be revealed soon.


 

(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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