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Fuzzy old doom meets grim punk - 70%

autothrall, April 29th, 2010

Does Fenriz fail at anything? He's done ambient, folk metal, and doom material before, and all have been successful enough distractions from his main band (Darkthrone if you are one of those 3-4 people who don't know). Engangsgrill isn't some bold new project or statement, it's just a fun split from a couple of Norway's finest.

The Red Planet material is fuzzy old school doom with Fenriz rocking out the clean vocals. The theme here is clearly centered in the old space pulp novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Of the three tracks, "Jon Carter, Man on Mars" kicks out the best groove, but "My Ship Sailed Without Me" has a nice melancholic vibe well worth a bong trip. "Temple of the Red Dawn Rising" also evokes a cool melody before the shuffle of its verse rhythms. The material here isn't a far cry from some of the doomier elements of his other projects Isengarde or Valhall. Primal, raw and without a shred of pretention. For something recorded in 1993 it's still pretty charming.

The Nattefrost material continues the path of his hybrid punk-meets-Carpathian Forest. There are five tracks ranging from the messy splatter country punk of "Uskyldighet" to the blues cum black metal snear of "Sin Goddamnit". As with most of his solo recordings (and those of his mainstay) these are good fun, but things get even better when he takes a turn for the darker, the groovy and despiccable "Humiliated and Pissed Upon" with a big Celtic Frost-influenced guitar groove. "Lustmord" is a strange piece with some sludgy guitars, sparse drums and voice samples.

In the end, the split feels like something these gentlemen wanted aired out of their system, and it's successful enough. Just don't go into expecting something of Darkthrone/Carpathian quality and you should come out, unscathed and smiling. I'd also like to state that doom metal based on space pulp is a fantastic idea, I would not mind a full-length from this Fenriz project (we all know there will be more Nattefrost).