Ormskrik – Ormskrik Review

I don’t know what happened to me, but all of a sudden I started to like thrash metal sometime in the last year. Granted, the barking vocals endemic to purebred thrash still grate my senses, but when black metal or death metal is thrown in the mix I get sprung as hell. It’s for this reason that I absolutely love bands like Antiverse, whose vital combination of death metal and thrash metal kicks my ass on a regular basis. You know what else kicks my ass on a regular basis? This fucker right here. Ormskrik’s self-titled album, a rip-roaring wraith of wretched thrash from the blackened void of Norway.

Ormskrik does many things right, but feeding my obsession for phat riffs is its forte. If you ever wanted to be gangbanged by a muscular set of throbbing piledrivers and tremolo gigolos, this is the place and now is the time. Surely most of you detect apt comparisons with classic acts from the days of yore upon selection of any given track available, but the band hardly qualifies as a copycat or clone. Suffice it to say that if you enjoy the carnage wrought by the likes of Havok, Emperor, Xoth and American thrash in general (the promo blurb especially emphasized the Bay Area school), I guarantee this album checks your boxes and drains your wallet. And for those of you who prioritize sweet shredding string abuse over big riff energy, fret not1 because Ormskrik offers plenty of wild abandon in that area as well.

The embed above is a perfect encapsulation of what the quintet here accomplish. “Hellheim,” a massive number hell-bent on summary devastation, drives thrash-y riffs right through the heart of second wave black metal. So well blended beith this nefarious brew that I instinctively think back to Antiverse’s Under the Regolith, which similarly merged death and thrash in seamless fashion. But if your goal is to mainline some protein-packed thrash, look no further than the gargantuan “March of the Dead.” Not only is the main theme a blinding detonation in itself, but the production buffs the spectacle further with several additional megatons of explosive force, especially as it pertains to the immensity of the drums. Occasionally, Ormskrik executes a more melodic approach, as on “Deathwind” and “The Morbid Arrives,” adding depth and character to the record’s songwriting—impressive considering how much blunt force trauma this record deals per second.

Ormskrik isn’t perfect, though. On one or two numbers, none of which exceed six minutes (excluding the closer “Eye for an Eye”), the album loses some momentum due to uninspired instrumentation or relative lack of energy. “Hecatomb” is the worst offender in that regard, lacking muscle in the riff department and feeling just a bit too relaxed for my tastes. For some it might build tension in anticipation of the closer, but I believe it fails to create satisfactory buildup. “Vegen Til” and “Oblation” fall into the category of interlude where the music contained holds relevance, but both lack the same cohesion they could’ve had if the band merged them with their respective companions instead. Lastly, “Destroyer of Worlds” contains a pleasing acoustic bridge that I enjoy, yet I wonder how much stronger the track would feel with a bit more trimming.

These are mere quibbles, of course. No criticism I level upon this savage slab constitutes a deal-breaker, and I wholeheartedly recommend taking Ormskrik for a few spins. Due to the strength of the material offered here, I find myself excited to see how Ormskrik develop further as a unit and what barnstorming monstrosity they unleash in a few years’ time. As far as the rest of you are concerned, consider yourselves obligated to spend your well-earned cash on this one. You can bet your bottom dollar I will.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Fysisk Format
Websites: facebook.com/ormskrikband | ormskrik.bandcamp.com/music
Releases Worldwide: June 5th, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. Get it? Because, guitars?
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