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Gjendød | ‘Nedstigning’

Melancholia, aggression and a sense of playfulness are expertly woven together on what would have amounted to Gjendød’s highly anticipated debut album, ‘Nedstigning’, if they had made us wait any amount of time at all between the release of their eye-opening demo last year and this fantastic full length.

Word even has it that there is already something new in the works…

Whew, these two men work quickly! And the muse is well and truly in the house over in Trondheim it would appear.

Everything that made the demo so exciting is here in abundance, and has been expanded upon.

The luscious, sanguinary basslines wander less trodden paths and their warm roundness lays a thick foundation, along with the unfettered drumming, above which icy guitars and sickening vocals cavort.

The songs really show depth in their slower parts, most effectively perhaps in the second song which gives the album its title. It rambles and roams through glum hinterlands with bewitching spoken parts that evoke fellow Nidrosians, Black Majesty’s, (formerly?) peerless ‘Seventh King of Edom’ 7″. So simple; so perfect.

Grotesque Slump

‘Håpet falmer’ slumps from a grotesque and traditional blackened lope back to a similar swampy groove, led by that beautiful bass playing that recalls Varg’s most timeless efforts (‘Life Eternal’ springs to mind). It works so incredibly well.

Even at speed the low end is covered nicely and keeps the shrill guitar from cutting into the eardrum, rather softening its edge enough to allow the listener to really luxuriate in the ever shapeshifting notes.

Trying to pinpoint exactly what makes this sound so completely fresh isn’t that easy as it references its Norwegian heritage constantly. I think it’s simply that these two fellows, K and KK, sound so completely immersed in what they are doing that they have channeled a voice all their own from the mists of time.

‘Utrydd den’ is a right old tease. After a good four minutes of bellicose attack it fades out on one of the catchiest note sequences on the record. Fuckers! It shows how much confidence they have; it’s as if they are sneering at the listener- ‘what, you think we can’t write this shit in our sleep?’

You have to love the arrogance.

And it’s so effortlessly ‘true’ in a way that doesn’t feel forced or posed, right down to the artwork. That cover… I mean, it’s ludicrous! But I love it for that. It is the most perfect visual accompaniment to the music; a foresty, barbed and old school devotion that, none the less, wanders a singular path.

And hey, if black metal is anything, it’s a fist in the face of taste.

This is the real deal from a band who are so far off the radar of what is en vogue at the minute that they are in danger of being overlooked entirely, and that would be a real shame. It’s as finely crafted and engaging a piece of black metal as you are likely to hear in this over-saturated market.

Do yourself a favour. Get on it.

4.5 – Andrew Cunningham ::: 26/04/2017

  1. great stuff

  2. Eoin McLove Says:

    Strange how they seem to be set completely apart from the other Nidrosian/Terratur bands as they are as good as, or better, than most. I wonder if there is a beef there, or who is shunning whom. Makes no odds really as the music speaks for itself and they don’t play live so they wouldn’t be on the usual lineups anyway. In terms of their profile within the BM scene though, they deserve to be getting the respect and coverage the rest of that scene gets.

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