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Make Norwegian black metal great again! - 85%

Twin_guitar_attack, July 9th, 2017

I loved last year’s debut EP The Worship of Idols Instead of God; Idolatry from Norwegian black metal group Whoredom Rife, staying true to the icy cold sound of the classic second wave Norwegian bands with beauty and aggression in equal measure, while also dragging the classic sound kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The 4 song EP has been followed by a new full length album which sees them tighten up a little on the production and song writing, coming off even more wider in scope and epic, if compromising a little on the aggression. Although tightened up, the production can be a little weak in some areas, but the energy, atmosphere and songcraft make Whoredom Rife one of the most interesting Norwegian black metal bands since the mid-nineties, and this is one not to be missed for Scandinavian black metal fans.

After a short intro Whoredom Rife begin with Beyond the Skies of God, melodic major key tremolo picked riffs in the style of Dark Fortress’ Tales from Eternal Dusk and understated but effective keyboards giving an icy edge to the blastbeats and rumbling bass, with the production doing a lot to give focus to the low end – they’re no trebly and scratchy bedroom band. The vocals are typical raspy black metal screams, harsh and throaty, effective but without being overly noteworthy. It gets a little bit muddy when their guitars and drums are at the fastest, but the song writing is good enough that it doesn’t detract from the overall effect – there are breaks for slower more eerie moments, which make a great change in pace from the blastbeats, and the slow melodic ending with it’s simple but epic melody works really well albeit a bit overlong in a great album opener. And this is the weakest track of the bunch over it’s full length.

Cursing the Storm to Come is more aggressive, minor key tremolo picked guitars give it a De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas-esque darkness,while there’s an Eidolon-era Dark Fortress style to the cold and raw vocals, which are at their best on the album here, making it sound cold and wintry, especially as the vocal lines fit in much better with the guitar melodies. The keyboard melodies in the middle of the track are so wintry while the guitars so blistering it’s like being buffeted by freezing snow while lost in a northern snowstorm. Winged Assassin is another dark and brooding piece of icy melodic black metal with a slow opening riff and some dissonant guitar melodies and drum patterns, while still having the faster and more epic parts in the middle in a less aggressive, but still fantastic track showing their variation. Spir is one of the most epic in scope, the icy cold atmosphere of the biting guitar sound playing stirring melodic riffs against pounding, striking drums hearken to the sound of battles in the frozen north of the Viking age. It’s awesome from start to finish, their own heavy sound coming from the drum heavy production is fearsome, but with a sense of beauty and grandeur thanks to some stirring guitar melodies and understated Emperor-esque synths to really add to the cold sound.

There’s a few minor flaws to it, but they’re negligible as Dommedagskvad is much more than the sum of it’s parts, a creative, cold, dark and melodic piece of Norwegian black metal, hearkening back to the glory days of the nineties, while driving forward into the 2010’s as one of the finest bands the country has produced in recent years. Make Norwegian black metal great again!

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