The High Heat Licks Against Heaven
TL;DR: Norwegian black metal with twists and oddities. Like Khold gone high.
Review: Nidingr is one of those black metal bands that probably get attention for all the wrong reasons. Yes, it’s as sort of Norwegian super group with members from big names such as Mayhem, Gorgoroth, God Seed, Morbid Angel, Myrkskog and Trelldom. Yes, it was formed already back in 1992. Very kvlt indeed. But it’s also a band that released its first album as late as 2005 and since then it has been shadowed by bigger names.
Whatever those reasons may be and whatever the status of other bands are, the only thing that really matters is if this band is good if and when it releases an album. And luckily, that’s what The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is, despite some minor flaws here and there.
The album is mostly slow- or mid-paced black metal with twists and turns. One might call this Khold gone high. Riffs are maybe a bit more curvy and groovy, tempo more varied and the overall song-writing somewhat more versatile. This is more bad than good though, since the album could have benefitted from straightening a bit, to get the ship back on course. It could be said it’s a bit challenging to go avantgardish with this sort of expression of darkness.
Luckily these parts are minority and most of the riffs are more curveball sinisterism. Khold-like atmosphere is a definite plus and this is backed by strong production. Angry shrieks are atypical and for most parts good. Only some parts sound bad becuase of silly way to hiss out the words.
Even though Nidingr has some troubles to keep it all together, it’s mostly an interesting album with a lots of skill behind the set. Despite the lack of polish, this one is clearly one of the better albums during first two months of 2017.
3. The Ballad of Hamther
4. On Dead Body Shore
6. Sol Taker
7. Ash Yggdrasil
9. Valkyries Assemble
10. Naglfar Is Loosed