By Jonathan Smith
Norway’s Throne of Katarsis have produced a sophomore full-length album that is, in almost every way, a recreation of much of the early nineties Norwegian black metal sound. Harsh shrieking vocals that skate over icy riffs and echoing chord progressions are central to Helvete – Det Iskalde Mørket’s sound, and it is complemented by production that is fittingly minimalist. The mixture of nature and satanic imagery invoked here is par for the course, but the epic title track is a spine-tingling mixture of all the elements that can make the genre so musically satisfying. It’s all been done before — there’s little that is ground-breaking to be found here. However, far from being a drawback, the familiarity of the sound is the album’s central strength. It is a purposeful return to a certain sonic tradition and should be approached as such. In terms of its sheer wintery bleakness, Helvete – Det Iskalde Mørket is well worth a listen.