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An uncompromising and highly focused debut - 85%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 30th, 2017

In their part of the world, promiscuity, corruption and moral and spiritual poverty may reign supreme but in matters of music and creative inspiration, Norwegian band Whoredom Rife looks back to the glory days of Norwegian Black Metal in the mid-1990s when acts like Mayhem, Dark Throne, Emperor, Ildjarn, Immortal and Burzum dominated with music of a harsh, pitiless outlook, raw sounds and an attitude scorning viewpoints, beliefs and opinions accepted by the mainstream without question. The band's music is very streamlined, minimalist in style, with a fast and aggressive approach and much power and darkness in its delivery. Whoredom Rife is made up of two members, vocalist KR and multi-instrumentalist V Einride, neither of whom I've come across before: this must be a first in a long time!

In four tracks of short to medium length - no song reaches 6 minutes in length - the duo must make their point quickly and emphatically with intense and highly driven and focused music. There's no room for noodling or self-indulgent solo break-outs brooding on what one's purpose in life should be or the futility and monotony of existence. Every song dives straight into intense heightened drama with relentless pile-driver blast-beats, slashing guitar tone and constantly churning distorted tremolo guitar riffs. The vocals are deep and gravelly with a cavernous echo edge to them - they are truly frightening just on their own, to say nothing of the monstrous slab of music pushing forwards like a runaway giant demon machine. They can be surprisingly varied too, ranging from inhuman and lecturing most of the time to sheer panic and screams in the second track.

There's not much difference from one track to the next although the last track is slightly slower, more doomy and melodic, and it has a more distinct identity than the others. They all need a bit more atmosphere of a cold, wintry and demonic kind to give them a three-dimensional feel and allow the riffing and melodies to stand out more, and the drumming needs to be more thunderous and have less of a flat sound that suggests synth drums are being used. Sometimes the icy ghost vocals are forced to fight for attention against a background of rugged riffing, heavy chainsaw guitar churning and machine-gun rubber bullet drumming.

What WR have going for them is an absolutely massive and brutal sound and style that could be even more so with more atmosphere and better percussion. The EP is very dense with tight songs and performances. How the band will adapt its style to a longer format and whether the guys will attempt longer songs remain to be seen and heard. In the meantime this debut recording is a punchy and meaty introduction to a band that looks to the past for inspiration and looks prepared to charge into the future with a take-no-prisoners attitude.