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lunedì 16 marzo 2015

Dødsverk - S/t

#FOR FANS OF: Black Metal, DarkThrone, Immortal, Marduk
Though variety is sometimes said to be the key to living life, oftentimes familiarity is what the heart wants and when the term ‘Norwegian Black Metal’ is bandied about in this case familiarity wins out over this Norwegian newcomers’ debut album. Pretty much on-point, all the hallmarks of such a scene are present and accounted for here: tremolo-picked rhythms, proto-thrashing riffing that dwells in the up-tempo registers, the furious blasting drum-work that trades off blastbeats for full-throttle pounding, hateful vocals and a raw edge that’s deliriously old-school to the core that fuels the primal atmosphere of the genre’s origins while not sounding like a band with no recording budget in the studio for the first time. There’s really no surprises in store here (well, maybe one but it might not really count for some) as in structure-form the true Norwegian sound is on full display with the tremolo-patterns serving as the atmospheric accents to the intense, frenzied blasting while dropping off streamlined thrashing rhythms serve as the majority of the album’s attack that still successfully keeps the band firmly in that general pool. The one small, and in some cases might even be negligible, surprise comes from the overall brevity of the album as a whole, coming off like an EP due to the running-length as well as the track-lengths themselves with a majority barely cracking three minutes and only two that could legitimately be said to be epics at over five minutes in time. While this might be nit-picking and there’s a case to that, the fact is this does come against the album by just really getting a solid foot under itself before it’s over, as if the band were really just finding their niche but instead seem to run out of ideas rather than deliver a beat-down and leave while on solid terms with the listener that seems to be the original intent here. While it does crop up, this is barely damaging to the album as a whole which has a lot of great stuff about it. ‘Den siste...' opens this with an unrelenting volley of swirling tremolo-patterns and furious blastbeats that manage to both weave atmospheric landscapes of their forefathers while making some intense, charging rhythms and serves as a great introduction to the madness. ‘Intet mer å gi' manages to use a slightly-less intense series of rhythms against its more atmospheric tendencies yet still comes up with an enjoyable main riff and pummeling drum-pattern for an enjoyable though all-too-brief assault. The brutal ‘Gjendød' offers up an industrialized charge that melds perfectly with their frenzied sound that adds a repetitive drive to the track that makes it one of the album’s best while the dreadful ‘I perversjoner' is simply nothing but droning and industrial noise for its duration that really causes this to be a questionable inclusion and shouldn’t have really been on the album. Thankfully, ‘Aldri tilbake' returns to the gloriousness of their original tracks with another frantic assault of maddening tempos, furious tremolo-picked patterns and plenty of blasting drum-work for a true highlight effort that more than makes up for the previous effort. ‘Renselse' continues the assault with a whirlwind of tremolo-picked rhythms and plenty of dynamic variations in the blasting and riff-work to make for another big strong highlight. The bands’ other attempt at an epic, ‘Motstå frelse' is thankfully a lot better as this scores the prototypical epic slow-moving Norwegian-style finisher that has the massive riff-work, cold atmospheres and plenty of rather impressive variations to cause this to be a strong ending note. Beyond the one lame track that’s not all that appealing, this one really only suffers from the brevity and the reliance of the listener to determine if the familiarity present is a failure or not. (Don Anelli)

(Apocalyptic Empire Records - 2014)
Score: 75