Nidingr - The High Heat Licks Against HeavenTeloch is one busy dude. When he’s not busy touring with Myrkur or writing and playing guitar for Mayhem, the Norwegian guitarist juggles his seemingly-limitless time between NunFuckRitualThe Konsortium, and a handful of other bands. One of these bands happens to be Nidingr. It has been five long years since Greatest of Deceivers terrorized our eardrums, and the time is right for some fresh-out-of-the-oven blasphemy. Armed with a new bassist, Nidingr is back with their fourth album, The High Heat Licks Against Heaven. I wanted icy-cold black metal with unrelenting savagery, and for the most part, High Heat satisfies.

Right off the bat, “Hangagud” blasts forth, showing that Nidingr haven’t remained complacent in their absence. Øyvind Myrvoll mixes up his drumming in the song’s second half but mostly retains a mid-tempo blast throughout. Teloch’s icy tremolo riffs and upwards chord strums still send chills. Cpt. Estrella Grasa still sounds maniacal, as he rasps, coughs, and phlegms his words with venomous intent. New bassist SIR performs a commendable job of lurking within all the chaos. The song is over at just a hair over two and a half minutes, and already they grabbed my attention.

And with some exception, High Heat does very little to deviate from a successful formula. “The Ballad of Hamther” blasts and grooves some impressive fills by Myrvoll and backing vocals by Destructhor (Myrkskog, ex-Morbid Angel). Teloch’s time with Mayhem rubs off in album highlight “On Dead Body Shore,” hooking the listener without losing one ounce of ferocity or intensity. When the band does throw curveballs, High Heat reveals an intriguing snapshot of what the band is capable of next. Closer “Naglfar Is Loosed” comes very close to doom metal territory, complete with some ethereal vocals by Myrkur in the chorus. “Ash Yggdrasil” builds an impressive atmosphere, blanketed by Garm’s (Ulver) chants and the expert use of minimalism. But none of these surprises are as shocking as “Gleipnir,” which combines their trademark black metal with tinges of trip-hop. Strangely, it works remarkably well, building tension and fear while still retaining the band’s trademark frigid atmosphere.

Nidingr 2017
What doesn’t work well is the production. Yes, I’m aware this is black metal and no, I shouldn’t be heading into it expecting a huge swath of dynamics. That said, I shouldn’t be expecting to pop ibuprofen halfway into the album’s length. “Heimdalargaldr” suffers the worst from it, as the drums sound flat and the guitars wash out when they go into tremolo mode. That said, despite the score below, the bass does have a presence, even if it’s not necessarily felt. The other qualms I have with High Heat is the lack of self-editing. “Heimdalargaldr” and “The Ballad of Hamther” feel longer than necessary, and that feeling detracts instead of enhancing.

But don’t let those remarks prevent you from checking out The High Heat Licks Against Heaven. The album contains solid black metal, and the moments of experimentation, few as they are, offer a tantalizing glimpse of what may come. As much as I enjoy Teloch’s songwriting in Mayhem, I’m hoping it won’t be another five years until the next Nidingr album. Painful as it is at times, High Heat shines.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Indie Recordings
Websites: nidingrsom.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/nidingr
Releases Worldwide: February 10th, 2017

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  • antitayyip

    i heard Norwegian fishermen use nivea cream to protect their hands from breezing cold…

    • sir_c

      Ain’t that Latin for “snow”?
      How appropriate that would be… :-)

  • Thatguy

    Nice.

  • Reese Burns

    I love Teloch’s writing in Mayhem. In fact, Esoteric Warfare is by far my favourite Mayhem release of all time.

  • Levly

    I’m tempted to pick it up for the cover alone. Beautiful.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Yes, and similar in style to the cover art for the Amorphis album from 2015. Same artist?

      • JJnetZach

        That was my first thought too… Same colors, same kind of lines…

      • Yeah, if I don’t get it wrong, both album covers are from the same artist. They’re done by Metastazis.

      • wrathzombie

        I thought Psycroptics last album and it’s the same artist

  • The Unicorn

    Whats with the shitty ads guys?

  • Berit Dogg

    Cool! “Nidingr” means cowards, waklings, traitors, unmanly “sexual deviants” and so on, so maybe the Wolfsangel all over the cover isn’t a Nazi reference after all.

    • Grymm

      That caught me off-guard as well, but their Wolf Father cover has that giant N symbol on the front also.

      And as far as I know, scouring the internet for any ties to NS beliefs came back empty. Believe me, if this supported any of that, I wouldn’t be touching it.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    At first read I mistook it for “Ballad Of Hamster”.

    • Grymm

      This would have been bumped up a full point if that was the actual song title.

  • Aguy

    Production is pretty meh, but the embedded track still shows promise and I’ll be checking out the rest of the album to hear some of the other tracks that got called out.