Norwegian Metal

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

“I love learning new words. Yesterday, Cherd made me aware of ebullient, and I’m still waiting for an opportunity to use pulchritudinous, which I learned from the review of the last Shape of Despair album (also waiting for a new Shape of Despair album), in casual conversation. Mythopoeic is another new word for my vocabulary, which is becoming increasingly pretentious at a frightening rate, and it’s also the main reason I selected Hatchling for review today. According to the notes that came with the album, this is the sophomore release from Norwegian prog-rockers Mythopoeic Mind, formerly the studio project of one Steinar Børve of Panzerpappa.” Words can hurt.

Malossi – Blanke Barter Review

Malossi – Blanke Barter Review

“It sounds like a dream or a hallucination. Clutch is actually a Norwegian band. They rock hard, they add a bit more of a desert vibe to their sound (think of a more restrained Kyuss), and they sing in Norwegian. They love to throw things like tuba and harmonica into their songs. Their favorite thing in life is abusing the hell out of scooters (hence the band name). And for their album cover, they use a portrait that basically looks like my dad. Sound crazy? It’s not that far from reality, my friends. Let me introduce you to Malossi, and their second album, Blanke Barter.” Scooter-core.

Diskord – Degenerations Review

Diskord – Degenerations Review

“Lovable Norwegian oddballs Diskord make their long awaited return with Degenerations, their third LP and first recorded output since 2014’s mind-bending Oscillations EP. Easily one of my most anticipated albums of 2021, long ago I fell hard for Diskord‘s strange amalgam of old school death metal, experimental flair, and ability to crank out killer death tunes, chopped up with psychedelic and prog experiments. My first exposure was on their monumental 2012 LP Dystopics, an incredible album I consider a modern classic. However, as the years passed I began to wonder whether we would hear more from the band. Well the moment has arrived, Diskord fittingly popping up on the Transcending Obscurity roster to land another mindboggling clusterfuck of weird arse death.” Degenerate to evolve.

Howl of the Underdogs Movie Review

Howl of the Underdogs Movie Review

“Usually, band documentaries are reserved for two types of Acts. Either, those who made it big and want to have their legacy cemented, which will often be titled something like “The Rise Of Band.” Or, those who made it big and crashed so spectacularly it makes for a good story: “The Rise And Fall Of Band.” What usually doesn’t happen is “The Lack Of Rise Of A Great Band That Somehow Never Made It Big.” But Madder Mortem isn’t really a usual band, with their decades of experience pumping out fantastic albums with stunning emotional depth and a completely unique sound which I’ve not heard replicated or imitated anywhere.” Underdogs have their day.

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

“I’ve been sitting on this one for some time. Label it black metal and give it enchanting artwork, and Madam X is all over it. Even before passing it over to me for review, she was pre-ordering the vinyl. And for good reason. On a white backdrop, that tree-covered moose walking on mountains is one of the more original album covers of the year. But the artwork isn’t the only good part of the album. Under that mysterious cover lies a thick slab of Norwegian black metal.” Kvlt Moose is loose.

Sundrowned – Become Ethereal Review

Sundrowned – Become Ethereal Review

“Promising despondent black metal from the rainy coasts of Norway (and perhaps deriving their name from Møl?), Sundrowned and their badass name caught my eye in the promo pool. Influences including Alcest and Deafheaven indicated that this was to be Norwegian black metal of a type you may not expect, and the album’s title Become Ethereal accentuated my post-rock suspicions.” Lost in the ether.

Nergard – Eternal White Review

Nergard – Eternal White Review

“We throw around the phrase “Nightwish clone” in here a lot (at least it seems like we do; I have no inclination to check my claims), but in this case it feels eerily accurate. With Eternal White, Nergard channel Century Child with some Winterheart’s Guild-era Sonata Arctica thrown in for “spice.” “Spice” is in quotation marks, by the way, because this isn’t a very spicy album – in fact, it’s played very safe, leaning on a formula that has served the Leaves’ Eyes, the Xandrias, and the Sirenias of the world well: symphonic first, metal second.” White is a passive color.

Nattverd – Vandring Review

Nattverd – Vandring Review

“It’s hard to think of an example of the third part of a trilogy being the best. Return of the Jedi? No way. Return of the King? Nope. Spider-Man 3? The Matrix Revolutions? Godfather Part III? It seems like the concluding chapter of these epic sagas never quite lives up to what preceded it. Just over a year ago, I reviewed Norwegian black metal band Nattverd’s sophomore album, Styggdom. Man, it had an awesome cover. The music, however, while maintaining a wonderfully oppressive atmosphere, simply dragged at times. It was too long, with too few actual riffs to sink your teeth into. Nattverd are now back, and have declared that their latest album, Vandring, is the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with the EP Skuggen, with Styggdom forming the middle section. Considering my somewhat underwhelming response to Styggdom, expectations for Vandring to buck the trilogy trend were low.” Third time’s the harm.

Vreid – Wild North West Review

Vreid – Wild North West Review

“Like I Krig and Milorg, this new release is a concept album. Instead of learning some history, the concept here is the ups and downs of life as we wait for death. But, more specifically, bassist Hváll says the inspiration for Wild North West comes from his struggles, knowledge, and experience. One of the coolest parts about the album (not to bring Windir up again) is that some of what you’ll hear Valfar wrote back in 2002. Crazy enough, you’ll also hear him play it. He hasn’t risen from the grave, but it sure as shit feels like it.” Wild and dead.

Syning – Syning Review

Syning – Syning Review

“I’m not entirely sure what’s happening on this cover, but it can’t be good. Making rounds at the office to gather insight on these mummified shenanigans, Cherd suggests the vaccination line at CVS. Felagund shakes his n00by tail-feathers with a bright-eyed look and suggests it’s the DMV waiting room. Still utterly confused, I slapped this down on Steel‘s desk with a big ol’ “the fuck is this” and he chuckles nostalgically and a gleam enters his eye. “The n00b gauntlet,” he mumbles.” Syning in blood.