Straight up black metal in the truest sense

It can be difficult to keep up with everything coming out these days, as it all seems to come out and then disappear so quickly.

Nidingr’s album has been lying about on my desk waiting for a good listen for a couple of months now. Have I been missing out!

Nidingr is one of those bands you should be paying attention to if you consider yourself a fan of black metal in any of its now wide and varied forms. Originally formed by guitarist Teloch, most famous in recent times for playing with Mayhem, somehow the band has gotten to this, their fourth release, without too much fanfare.

This is a very straight up black metal album in the truest sense. Dark musical tones, and a pummelling drum assault courtesy of Øyvind Myrvoll, starting out as you would expect an album of this intensity on ‘Hangagud’ and driving its way through brutally, only stopping to rest long enough for you to gather breath. The first of these breaks comes in the form of a spoken word piece at the end of ‘The Ballad Of Hamther’. From here the band play with their blackened sound a little and allow some death metal riffs to the break up the continuous blasting. Vocalist Cpt. Estrella Grasa really needs high praise for his performance on this album, avoiding the usual standard black metal croak in favour of a dynamic range of barks, shouts and yells, all while enunciating very clearly.

The only low point are the songs quietly rested in the middle. ‘Gleipner’ carries an almost trip-hop feel, and while it has the atmospherics of the surrounding tracks, it is just too clean among all of the blasting going on around it. ‘Ash Yggdrasil’ is the band spreading their wings away from what is expected of a band like this, but it just feels out of place, especially with the longer running times of both the songs.

Whether black metal is your thing or not, this is a great heavy album that really deserves some attention over and above other music of the same scene going on right now.

  1. Hangagud
  2. Surtr
  3. The Ballad Of Hamther
  4. On Dead Body Shore
  5. Gleipnir
  6. Sol Taker
  7. Ash Yggdrasil
  8. Heimdalargaldr
  9. Valkyries Assemble
  10. Naglfar is Loosed