Norwegian Metal

Kampfar – Til Klovers Takt Review

Kampfar – Til Klovers Takt Review

“For those of you posers that don’t know, Kampfar is untouchable in the pagan/black metal realm. And they’ve been ruling it with a bloody battle axe for almost 30 years. Now, they are back again to threaten my year-end list with Til Klovers Takt. But, unlike Profan or even Ofidians Manifest, Til Klovers Takt explores all that is Kampfar. It plays out more like a best-of-release than a standalone record. Each song explores songwriting structures from the band’s past and present. Yet, somehow, it’s brought together in a strategic tracklist. Welcome to pagan metal heaven.” Kamping bastards.

Vorbid – A Swan by the Edge of Mandala Review

Vorbid – A Swan by the Edge of Mandala Review

“A swan at the edge of what? A fucking mandala? You know, those monk-assembled sand drawings that they sweep away as a meditation. A Swan by the Edge of Mandala (henceforth ASbtEoM) is hands down the most egregiously prog-endowed album name I’ve heard all year. And what’s that, Vorbid appears to be leaning on another definition of mandala? A dream symbol that represents a person’s quest for self-unity? So it’s a concept album too, as if we didn’t need more confirmation that Vorbid plans to spill forth a bounty of instrumental gymnastics, introspective lyrics, and formibably lengthened runtimes.” Vorbid tales.

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold combines Carpathian Forest-esque black ‘n’ roll, Satyricon accessibility, and Darkthrone-like sinisterness that molded Grier‘s tiny heart into a lump of coal for nearly a decade. Then, 2014 saw the end of the band. During this time, the crew resurrected their thrashy black metal counterpart, Tulus. Which felt like a somewhat natural progression following Khold’s odd 2014 swansong, Til ended. Also, the band’s founder/drummer found success with Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto, releasing album after Sarke album. Fast forward to 2022, and the boys are back.” Ice Khold.

Big Muff 68 – Swing Metal Review

Big Muff 68 – Swing Metal Review

“Do you know what a big muff pedal does? Well, if you don’t, it essentially can turn electric guitars into fat fuzzy rock machines. Over the decades, that sound has found a home across all genres that riff, stomp, and tear blues licks a new one. As such, the pedal name lends itself well to the mission of the wacky Norwegian outfit Big Muff 68, who seeks to give us a fresh new genre view with Swing Metal. If you hadn’t guessed yet, that genre is none other than… swing metal!” Tough Muff.

Strange Horizon – Beyond the Strange Horizon Review

Strange Horizon – Beyond the Strange Horizon Review

“As a child of the 80s metal scene, I grew to statuesque manhood marinating in the sounds of Pentagram and Saint Vitus. Those 80s doom titans are still near and dear to me and any act that tries to recapture the sound of that era has me as an ally. Norway’s Strange Horizon are one such band, striving to recapture that classic doom magic on debut Beyond the Strange Horizon.” Dawn of the doom.

Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell Review

Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell Review

“Since 2005 Audrey Horne have been showing the world that some of the best American-style rock n’ roll comes from Norway courtesy of black metal and stoner doom musicians. Yeah, I know, go figure, but damn if that’s not how things played out. On the strength of albums like Youngblood and Pure Heavy the band carved out a sizeable niche of hard-rocking good times music with a strong NWoBHM flavor and they’ve been in heavy rotation in my neck of the woods for many a year. They’ve been quiet since 2018’s Blackout, but 2022 sees them return with seventh album, Devil’s Bell.” Bell’s end.

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

“As you can see from the atrocious cover art, Abbath continues to prove this is his band. And he’s starting to show that with the same absurd vigor that garners album covers from Yngwie Malmsteen. And when I saw that Abbath chose to mix Dread Reaver himself, my fear factor increased double-fold. And on first listen, I knew Dread Reaver was in trouble.” Bob and reave.

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

“Norway’s Deathhammer probably need no introduction as they’ve achieved some notoriety by releasing a string of full-lengths, demos, EPs, and splits—with some form of release almost every single year—since their formation back in 2005. My personal experience with the band is fairly limited, but I do own 2015’s Evil Power and consider it to be a good-to-very good example of the early, chaotic thrash sound. I skipped 2018’s Chained to Hell despite its stellar artwork, but let’s see what Deathhammer sounds like in 2022.” Hammer will hurt them.

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

“With that album cover, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’ve heard it before – a bunch of musicians who smoked one too many joints in high school, and then one too many joints in college, and decided to share their boundless love for early Black Sabbath with the world. Norwegian four-piece Kryptograf is relatively new to the overcrowded stoner rock scene, but they made a splash with their self-titled 2020 debut, which melded vintage doom, hard rock, and psychedelic jams.” Loving the leaf.

Sylvaine – Nova Review

Sylvaine – Nova Review

“I’ve become a jaded man-cat over the last few years or so. I can blame Covid, or humanity’s lack of… well, humanity towards one another, or a myriad of other reasons. The fact of the matter is whenever I turn on the news or see yet another impossibly bad hot-take on Twitter, the anger that begins to well up inside me can power my home city for months. So, what’s a grouchy man-cat to do? Listen to Nova, the fourth full-length by Norwegian/French multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kathrine Shepard, aka Sylvaine, that’s what. Having reviewed not one, but two, albums of hers, I knew what to expect. Or so I thought.” Prime Nova.