Norway

enslaved-riitiir

Enslaved – RIITIIR

Enslaved’s unique, progressive, black metal style is the root of the voyage you take on this album. It’s arguably the band’s most uniform element, and they hit all the right notes this time.

godseed

God Seed – I Begin

I Begin is an apt title for what is a new beginning of sorts, and like many beginnings it is not perfect. However, its lesser moments can be overlooked in favour of the enjoyable whole.

Formloff Cover

Formloff: Spyhorelandet

Spyhorelandet comprises the kind of unrelenting hopelessness you’ll experience stumbling naked and bleeding though a blizzard after seeing your family devoured by wolves. However, where much of black metal concentrates on diabolic or fantastical pursuits, Formloff are interested in the “ugly personal histories each of us carries”.

Devil – Magister Mundi Xum (Demo)

By all means, Magister Mundi Xum is hit-and-miss – when it does hit, it’s pretty damn fun. Look past the recording quality, the at-times downright-goofy lyrics, and you might dig this as much as I did. Will be interesting to see what they come up with on their upcoming full-length.

Årabrot – Revenge

Imagine, if you will – a raw distillation of the best of the Amphetamine Reptile catalogue in its heyday, veering past the outskirts of black metal territory, and fronted by Supergrover, if he had a severe antisocial personality disorder coupled with a propensity to sing through ground-down teeth, in phlegm-clearing snarls, growls and shrieks. Congratulations, you’ve just come close to conjuring up Oslo’s startlingly visionary Årabrot and the sound of their latest blood offering, Revenge.

Triptykon / 1349 / Yakuza / Sylvus @ the Wreckroom, Toronto ON, October 11 2010

“Visually the band’s performance style is understated, but the smaller venue allowed them to overwhelm the space. Alongside the expected Triptykon material, sounding much like it does on record, the set list was Celtic Frost-heavy, songs like “Procreation (of the Wicked)” snarled out with vicious intensity.”

Laura Wiebe reviews the recent Toronto performance of Triptykon, who were joined by 1349, Yakuza and Sylvus.

Kvelertak – Kvelertak

Kvelertak hold nothing sacred, aren’t afraid to whip out their six schlongs to piss on the walls of convention and are getting the appropriate attention – both positive and negative – because of it, whether you like it or not. It all starts with their sound: a furious, kinetic and coruscating blend of 85 octane burnin’ garage rock, greasy punk, blues, hardcore, Motorhead, black and death metal. They manage to sound like all of the above without exactly sounding like any of ‘em,

Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini

Despite some jagged rhythms and an unexpected groove Axioma Ethica Odini flows consistently to an abrupt not-quite conclusion, so that finally I’m perplexed but also persuaded that I want to work my way through it all again until I fully understand.