(Indie Recordings, 2016)
#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death, Krigere Wolf, Nordjevel
Originally conceived as a studio solo project, Norwegian black/death metal stalwarts Vredehammer have since grown into a fully-fledged unit and have given us a solid and highly enjoyable second album. Essentially this here is a strong and imposing effort that manages to mix together the traditional old-school second-wave of Norwegian black metal with a strong, defining death metal crunch that produces some devastating results here, giving this the steady tremolo-picked rhythms and majestic mid-tempo sprawling sections loaded with atmosphere prevalent in numerous black metal bands of that time while mixed together with the deep churning rhythms of death metal. This is a fantastic mixture that gets some devastating work out of it, and is one of the better parts here, as the more relentless tracks are furious and boundless yet still retaining a few select appearances of melodic sprawling to offset the chaos. This gives this some really enjoyable tracks here. The opener ‘Light the Fucking Sky’ rips through deep, churning riffing and devastating drumming into a ferocious mid-tempo march with plenty of swirling tremolo riffing and ferocious drumming pounding along throughout the tight final half for a spectacular opening effort. ‘Spawn Tyrant’ features tight, blistering rhythms and swirling tremolo riffing with a ferocious, mid-tempo gallop and utterly relentless drumming carrying the deep, swirling riff-work along into a slight sprawling section that leads back into the vicious finale for another strong highlight. The title track takes deep, swirling riffing and tight, blasting drumming that carries along with a steady full-throttle series of churning riff-work that takes a long, extended sprawling break in the mid-section before leading back into the charging final half for another strong stand-out. ‘Deadfall’ immediately blasts through tight, pounding drumming and steady, swirling mid-tempo series of jangled, discordant patterns featuring the steady mid-tempo paces with the screeching-filled sprawling section that slows the pace down as the jarring rhythms continue into the finale for a decent-if-unspectacular effort. ‘Ursus’ features jangly, discordant riff-work over pounding, blistering drumming that runs through a steady, swirling tremolo-filled mid-range chug that leads along into the sprawling section and bringing the swirling tremolo leads into the steady chug of the final half for a solid, enjoyable effort. ‘Cyclone’ uses a deep, heavy blistering crunch with pounding drumming and steady swirling riff-work that whips along at a majestic mid-tempo gallop filled with deep, churning rhythms and stylish technical chugging with fiery tremolo patterns leading into the sprawling fadeout finale for a standout highlight. Lastly, album-closer ‘Blodhevn’ utilizes blistering traditional tremolo riffing and churning drumming that settles on a steady, blistering mid-tempo gallop full of churning patterns and steady tremolo patterns that carry on into the atmospheric sprawling section and carrying on through the final half for a strong ending impression. Overall that’s a lot to really like here with this one and is quite enjoyable.