The founders of Norway’s newest black-metal outfit, The 3rd Attempt, need no introduction from me. Tchort (Green Carnation, ex-Carpathian Forest, ex-Blood Red Throne, ex-Emperor) and Blood Pervertor (Tchort’s six-string comrade in Carpathian Forest) have ditched the infamous singer of Carpathian Forest and Nattefrost to pursue a new band that still captures that same black ‘n’ roll attitude. Hell, I wasn’t even a doctor the last time Carpathian Forest or Nattefrost released an album. So when I heard Tchort put together a black metal band that combined elements of Carpathian Forest and Blood Red Throne with those of Gorgoroth, Immortal, Bathory, and even Motörhead, I nearly shat myself. After a decade trying to fill the empty crater in my achy-breaky heart with more of Nattefrost’s sadomasochism, I’m stoked to hear the master-behind-the-riffs unleash a sultry combination of all he is; black thrash, blackened rock ‘n’ roll, Scandinavian death, and a variety of surprising twists. Debut Born in Thorns won’t exactly blow you away or break new ground, but it feels so damn good and is one of the more entertaining albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing all year.  

Many fans are already complaining that Born in Thorns is a cheap knockoff of Carpathian Forest. This begs the question, “is this true?” Not entirely. But do they sound like Carpathian Forest? Just look at that fucking Nattefrost-inspired artwork and you tell me! Is this a bad thing? Absofuckinglutely not. As Tchort said himself, it’s impossible not to sound a little like CF after having been the major songwriter for so many years. So, now it’s out there and you can get over it. What really sets them apart (well, just barely) from the CF sound is the absurd diversity of near-nobody vocalist Ødemark (ex-Midnattsvrede, ex-Necrocave). Tossing in everything but the kitchen sink, he delivers standard black-metal rasps akin to Grutle [Enslaved] and Nattefrost (ok, yes, his rasps are VERY Nattefrost-like) in “Torment Nation” and the unbelievably addictive “Art of Domination.” There are nasty death barks on “We Defy” and “Nekrogrammaton,” and a surprising hybrid of Chuck Billy [Testament]-meets-Athera [ex-Susperia] clean vocals in the “holy shit” moments of the title track and “Beast Within.” His diversity alone makes this worth the purchase and forever brands Tchort and Blood Pervertor as geniuses in The 3rd Attempt Hiring Department.

Not only are Ødemark’s vocals a big part of the aforementioned songs, the riffs behind these tracks solidify them as the best of the album. The opener and “Art of Domination” sport some of the funnest black ‘n’ roll I have heard in years. Between the trashy riffs found midway through these two tracks and the catchy chorus of the latter, I find myself using my shovel for both a grave-excavating tool and a shoulder to lean on as I click my heels. Phasing the spectra with a 180 shift, the outro (which, sadly, is the only memorable part of the song) to “Dark Vision,” the entirety of “Born in Thorns,” and the Immortal-meets-Bathory epicness of “Sons of Winter” lock the brakes on this overloaded hearse as the black ice tickles the tread and sends us over the edge into a heart-stopping, emotional spinout.

Intermixed with the black is the Blood Red Throne-inspired death riffs of “We Defy,” “Nekrogrammaton,” and “Firestorm.” While a powerful addition to the album, “We Defy” and “Firestorm” are fairly standard death-fare. “Firestorm” suffers from a jumbled mix of Dark Tranquillity-esque keys bookending some typical black-thrash riffs as Ødemark reenacts the creepy vocal performance on Defending the Throne of Hell‘s “The Old House on the Hill.” Closing the album with a one-two punch of “meh,” “Firestorm” and the 1349-inspired haunted-house theme song of “Anti-Self” don’t live up to the rest of the album. Thankfully, this is a minor glitch to an overall solid release.

Regardless if The 3rd Attempt found you or you them, listeners shouldn’t expect groundbreaking material from Born in Thorns. However, this is one fun ride that – albeit a few hiccups – fills that retched void in my heart where stagnant sludge usually pools. Let it dominate you.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Dark Essence Records
Websites: 3rdattemptband.wordpress.com | facebook.com/the3rdattempt
Releases Worldwide: September 25th, 2015

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  • This week on TMZ: When Mimes Go Bad

    • Monsterth Goatom

      What a terrible thing to have lost a Mime to the dark side.

      • A mime is a terrible thing to waste.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          My Quayle to your UNCF. : )

          I think yours is more pithy. Or, as Woody Allen would say, “yeth, pith”.

      • sir_c

        Operation: mimecrime

  • You wot m8?

    I’ve always had trouble with this style of metal. I mean, the musicianship is undeniably skillful, the songwriting sounds tight, and the vocals are fittingly spikey to fit the music. However, I just don’t like it, and I can’t get into it no matter how hard I try. If someone could point me to a couple good “intermediary” bands that lie between this style and the rest of metal, I’d love you forever. :D

    • Refined-Iron Cranium

      Black metal in general or just the kind portrayed here?

      • You wot m8?

        BM is fine, though I do prefer the “yelling incoherently in a freeway tunnel” kind of BM to this… I think it’s just this band, to be honest. The vocals just rub me wrong.

    • If you mean this style of black metal I’m generally with you. Not keen on the riffs. But try Goatwhore maybe?

      If you mean black metal in general… what other stuff do you like?

      • You wot m8?

        I’d say that I generally like BM, I’m just not too down with the vocals here. Also this style of BM mainly seems to consist of the songwriter saying: “Hey, let’s play the same repetitive guitar piece as fast as possible, over and over! That’ll sound great!”
        I checked out Goatwhore, as recommended. While they’re not my exact forte, they’re definitely a good listen. Adding them to my giant hodgepodge playlist.

        • Super puzzling response there. The music in the embedded track is more on the punk side of black metal. The vocals are… shrug pretty black metal. Maybe try an experiment- play early misfits, followed by dissection, then back and forth till you can handle the combo. If you don’t like the misfits you’re on your own.

    • Um… Dethklok?

      • You wot m8?

        Checked them out. Safe to say it was the silliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I love it!

        • Right on. I still think they make for a decent gateway band. They have some genuinely enjoyable songs, like every year when I have to do taxes I’ll listen to Detharmonic.

          • [not a Dr]

            All my friends and relatives get a Birthday Dethday post for their birthdays.

    • Hammersmith

      Dissection might be a good fit for what you’re looking for.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Dissection? Satyricon? Early Sodom?

      • You wot m8?

        Well, I might be somewhat unaware of a lot of metal, but I don’t live under a rock! But you gave me yet another excuse to listen to Satyricon at high volume, so props for that.

    • madhare

      I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for. But if you are looking for something which has blackened elements but is still complex, moody, and melodic, how about Moonsorrow’s last couple of albums? (V: Hävitetty & Varjoina kuljemme…)

      I find lot of BM boring and unlistenable, but Moonsorrow hits just the right in-between spot for me. (I can’t wait for their new album, which is supposed to have even more blackened elements. They’re in the studio right now.)

      • You wot m8?

        Gotta say, I love me some Scandinavian screeching. The weird, folksy elements are nice too. Thanks!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    This is good, but I would have liked to hear what the 1st and 2nd attempt sounded like.

    Also, for a second there I thought “meh” was the name of one of their songs.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      That would be horrible title for a song on this album!

      And I had a bunch of “attempt” jokes but ditched them.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        You can always count on me to lower the humour standards of AMG.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Yes we can. You wily bastard.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        So you didn´t even attempt the attempt jokes…

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          I attempted but unattempted.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Because you were tempted?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I was… Ahhh… Tempted…

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      They had the good sense to keep the first and second attempts unreleased and you want to hear them? With the amount of crap being released we should commend these guys for keeping their subpar attempts to themselves.

  • Pimpolho

    I was expecting at least a 3,5! You were almost gushing! Never really heard the album, so i can’t comment about it, but great review, Dr!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, I always gush about 0.5 more than I should.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Maybe you should write yourself a prescription for some gush inhibitor meds.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          If I did, I might die. Or become extremely angry.

          • Pimpolho

            What do you mean?! Become?! In this website, being angry is the law!

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            It’s true. We be angry-er-est.

          • [not a Dr]

            When you say “extremely angry”, do you mean a.n.grier?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    That assless chaps reference on the homepage should be grafted into the review.

    • We believe assless chaps, like all things, are best in moderation.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Sure, moderation is the key! I Dont´wear mine more than once a day.

      • [not a Dr]

        The only thing that’s best in moderation happens to be moderation itself.

      • Dennis Thomsen

        All chaps are assless, if they had an ass they would just be pants. Just saying.

    • basenjibrian

      Is The 3rd Attempt the featured band for this weekend’s Folsom Street Fair?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I don´t know what Folsom Street Fair is… But based on the assless chaps connection I’m afraid to ask.

    • Dennis Thomsen

      All chaps are assless, just saying.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        You’re completely right. But saying assless chaps is way more fun than saying chaps.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Dear Dr. A.N. Grier I am rather curious as to why you didn´t mention the production at all on your review.
    I understand production values in Black Metal-related music are usually nothing to write home about but the embedded track sounds so alive and real I firmly believe you should have mentioned it. Because it actually sounds like people playing real instruments.
    Hell yes! It actually sounds like people playing real instruments and it even sounds like they are in the same room playing together. Even the drums sound like real drums. In this age and time, I find that refreshing and worthy of mention.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Ummmm… I guess I laid off on it because it honestly sounds as compressed and raw as a typical BM release (maybe not as raw as some but it’s still got that character). You are right that the instruments are all there and you can hear everyone playing but, in the end, it still doesn’t sound overly amazing. I guess it sounds a lot like the later Carpathian Forest stuff, which is pretty open and easy to identify all individual players.

  • Dennis Thomsen

    The 3rd Attempt? …1. Carpathian Forest, 2. Nattefrost, now 3. The 3rd Attempt to try and sell this on us again? …well sold!
    Taking a guess here, I suppose someone was too caught up in the bottle and this was probably to be published as one of the first two attempts until having to just slap a new band name on it and wing it