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A Monument Of Black Metal Fury - 95%

DarkRecollections69, December 15th, 2014

Who do you think of when you think of Swedish black metal? Many answers could be given to that question anywhere from Bathory, Dissection, or even Watain or Marduk. The year 1994, the release year of this beast of an album saw such legendary releases as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Transylvanian Hunger. Nifelheim, a five piece black metal outfit hailing from Sweden were busy crafting some of the most high octane, entertaining and evil black metal in the underground at the time of such releases. Headed by the twin brothers, Tyrant and Hellbutcher, no one would think that these old guys with receding hairlines would be in such a vicious and ugly black metal act, were it not for their chains and leather, and over the top stage attire.

Despite their efforts, Nifelheim, a band rather highly respected deep in the black metal underground still never really got in the high ranks of many of the heavyweights of the time and still remain relatively unknown among many. Nifilheim, the self tiled debut of this incredible band shows the sheer strength and prowess of this mighty band and makes you scratch your head as to why they never quite made it to such ranks. The opening track The Devastation begins with gritty guitar feedback opening to raging blast beats over Hellbutcher's powerful and angry shrieks with vicious black metal melodies complimenting the mayhem. The remainder of the album continues in similar fashion and never lets up for a single minute. Most the other songs, while sounding similar are packed to the brim with haunting black metal melodies, vicious blasts and catchy but effective choruses. The vocals are some of the best and most vicious black metal vocals I've heard.

One thing that really separates this band from the pack though is the large range of influences present in the music. Although they belong to the second wave of black metal, lots of first wave influences can be heard, notably Venom and Bathory, particularly in the beginning drum rolls of Black Curse and Possessed By Evil and much of the drumming on the album. The band even notes Iron Maiden as a primary influence, especially in many of the melodies present. The band manages to mold these influences into their own craft flawlessly and manage to create a very engaging, chaotic, and devastating listen. Sodomizer, another highlight grabs for the throat right away, being one that will get stuck in your head for days and force you into a headbanging fury. The way the band molds melody with brutality and chaos proves that these underdogs deserve far more credit than they've been given and can easily hold their own or even surpass many of their more successful peers. Anyone looking for some old school, refreshing, and bad ass black metal should look no further. This beast of an album will satisfy even the deepest of black metal purists.