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Angst Skvadron - Sweet Poison - 70%

Witchfvcker, April 24th, 2014

While Trondr Nefas has certainly made a mark on the Norwegian black metal scene with his numerous projects (Kvist, Urgehal, Krypt, Beastcraft, and more), his newest project Angst Skvadron marks somewhat of a departure from his usual pitch-black musings. Incorporating drugged out alien-synths into the black metal formula is a bold move, and quite the oddball undertaking.

It’s an interesting experiment, but does it work? Both yes and no, since while the creepy space synths definitely add something completely unique to the band’s sound, the total overload of weird effects tend to wear out their welcome. The synths sound right out of some campy 70s science fiction movie, with enough added distortion to fuel a fucked up trip. The songs are only really allowed to shine when Nefas conjures electronica-influenced riffs that actually sound great against the black metal backdrop, like in the spectacular “Fucking Karma”. Parallels can be drawn to bands like Aborym, but with a much lower budget, since the production on Sweet Poison is downright painful at times.

When Angst Skvadron are at their best, they are in a league of their own, pioneering a completely weird pill-fueled alien invasion black metal sound. Unfortunately their originality often also becomes their downfall, as the effects often become self-indulgent to the point where it’s ridiculous. In the end, Angst Skvadron just feels way too much like an avant-garde side-project for toying around with, and gets 8/10 for creativity, 6/10 for execution, evening out at a respectable 7/10.

Written for The Metal Observer