Norwegian Metal

Varde – Fedraminne Review

Varde – Fedraminne Review

“It’s not another one of Vardan‘s countless releases, nor is it one of Varathron‘s hit-or-miss endeavors – it’s Varde. Of all the V’s of the metal world (and there are many besides: vampires, villainy, vim & vigor, valor, vomit, vogininth, etc.), Varde may be one I am most unfamiliar. But as luck would have it, these lads are devoted to another “v:” Vikings. Well, sort of.” V is for…things.

Communic – Hiding from the World Review

Communic – Hiding from the World Review

Communic has become a bit of an enigma  for me over the past 9 years. Though exceptionally talented and creative, this prog-power trio seem to find ways to undercut themselves and guarantee that they remain an underappreciated act. Early albums like Conspiracy in Mind and Waves of Visual Decay were amazing doses of progressive metal in the vein of Nevermore and it looked like they were going to be the next big thing. Since then they’ve been much more irregular, though they’ve yet to release a truly bad album.” Hiding potential.

Wudewuse – Northern Gothic Review

Wudewuse – Northern Gothic Review

“From the forests of Norway emerges Sondre Bergersen Mæland, a man of many talents and of many names. Known largely for his work in Tusmørke and Wudewuse, the multi-instrumentalist of Scandinavian folk and rock circles certainly seems to live an interesting life. According to my liner notes, for example, he wrote most of Northern Gothic, the sophomore full-length from the latter band, “over a period of three years while [he] was living in the forest and worked at a graveyard,” a journey that involved a “cosmic psychosis, following a death trip [he] had while on various substances.” So… that got my attention.” Grave matters.

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

“Those of you who insist we review nothing but the purest and most extreme metal, step away from the computer. The next five paragraphs will upset and irritate you, causing you to lob hit pieces at the Huckster down in the comment section. For there is nothing remotely metal about today’s band of choice, Wobbler. This is music to prance to, not music to bang one’s head to. In fact, one has to be an El Cuervo-like old soul to truly want to dive into this band’s immaculate take on 70’s progressive rock.” Hit pieces go wobbly.

Enslaved – Utgard Review

Enslaved – Utgard Review

“Sometimes a band makes such a drastic change in style that you’re floored by it. Many times upset by it. But Enslaved made it work. Well, at least for a couple more albums. I liked most of RIITIIR, but nothing after. And when E and its saxophone-sucking closer arrived five years later, I had pretty much given up on the band. So, you can imagine the dread I felt when I got the promo for Utgard.” En garde.

Evoke – Seeds of Death Review

Evoke – Seeds of Death Review

“I’m a hammer kind of guy. I wield the Banhammer in the comment section, one of my favorite historical figures is Charles “the Hammer” Martel, my favorite Avenger is Thor, and I love the throwback 80s speed and insanity of Norway’s Deathhammer. Albums like Evil Power take me back to the glory days of speed and provide all sorts of nostalgic amusement and berserker energy. Evoke hail from the same scene as Deathhammer and vocalist/guitarist Kato Marchant has played for them live. Seeds of Death is Evoke‘s debut full-length, and it aims to hammer you with blinding speed and tongues firmly planted in the cheek of the 80s.” Feel the need for Seed.

Hymn – Breach Us Review

Hymn – Breach Us Review

“The core of Hymn‘s sound is sludge doom, but with the intensity turned up to 11. There are riffs and enviable guitar tone enough to check the usual genre boxes, but the forceful drumming of Markus Støle and the vein-popping delivery of vocalist/guitarist Ole Ulvik Rokseth conjure the image of Thou as interpreted by 90s hardcore stalwarts Snapcase.” Breach party.

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

“Off the back of 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar and the Ulver Primer which we ran a few weeks ago, 2020 has bequeathed unto us a new full-length title from Norway’s Ulver. Flowers of Evil sits in an unusual place as successor to the most poppy Ulver release, an album which I underrated at the time but have come to love. Rarely simple and never expected, Ulver has built a career out of subverting expectations and always pushing into new territories. How does such a band follow the most accessible album of their story?” Just look at the flowers.

Next Life – Guru Meditation Review

Next Life – Guru Meditation Review

“So many questions. So few answers. Who decided mathcore, industrial and grind needed to be matched up with chiptune? Where did that idea even come from? Who was this made for? The answers, I believe, are, respectively: Next Life did; who the fuck knows; and me, probably. I love genre mashups, and if chiptune is even remotely involved, I go to there with haste.” Love Guru?