As a neurotic and obsessive metal fan I struggle to cope with the number of magnificently malevolent black metal releases I’m missing out on. It’s a depressing thought—which I suppose is quite apt really. Such is the enigmatic nature of the underground scene, coupled with the fact that I am essentially a troglodyte, for every excellent black metal release I get to hear, five other worthy contenders pass me by. However, there are a few releases of late that I have been fortunate enough to hear and think deserve some praise-heavy wordage. Continuing my never-ending multi-album review series, this time I’m focusing on a few rough-edged gems (and one notably polished one) from black metal’s inhospitable climes.
Allying throbbing, sub-zero sludge/doom riffs with poignant post-metal passages, beared up with throatgurge-ing vocals whose epic lyrics illustrate frozen paths of Nordic glory, For Winter Fire is a sprawling work, demanding the listener’s respect. Listening to this epic bit of Viking doooom is hardly a light undertaking, either – the majority of the songs push past the nine-minute mark.