(Transcending Obscurity Records, 2017)
#FOR FANS OF: Black Metal, Deathspell Omega, Xasthur
Norse is an example of an Australian band on an entirely separate level. This down under duo explores the truly disturbing in the raw and brutal black veins of Xasthur and Benighted in Sodom with a twist that calls forth the unique dissonance experienced in Demilich's 'Nespithe'. Through fantastic production that accentuates a deep bombastic bass center, Norse employs the raunchy four-stomp Immolation rhythm in a grim and primal, at times tribal, atmosphere of disorientation. Discordant squelching guitar notes touch the timbres of your ears and tumble into the lowest parts of the register, feeling as though being hooked through the cheek and dragged to Hell by your ripping face. “Supreme Vertical Ascent” immediately contorts its elements of evil into a machinery of punishment that never lets go as grainy melody in the second riff yearns to embrace its beauteous notation, but is left displaced to dissonance. This deprivation occurs frequently through the album, as when the captivating and unusual opening to “Drowned By Hope” spaghettifies the mind in a singularity's pull to its avant-garde evacuation in the center of a fresh star.
“Telum Vitae” swims through its bass groove as though Lamb of God donned corpse paint to create black metal with hardcore chest-pounding tenacity. Through the immense build comes a theatrical take on breakdown beating while the bass rejoinder in the song's second movement creates an unmistakable measure of satisfaction to compliment its insane release of aggression. The vocals crackle through the center, bass curves upward in a hulking groan, and guitars and drums drown in a swamp of blending set to endlessly intoxicate an audience with such shameless sin.
'The Divine Light of a New Sun' flows and ebbs like a rusty swing set at an abandoned school, irradiated with malice and haunted by terror. Despite its dissonant core, this calamitous black metal assault combines well with its powerful low end to sound like a full and heady extreme metal release, as displayed in the end of the title track, the Gothenburg aesthetic opening of “Synapses Spun As Silk”, and in the proximity that “Arriving in Peace, Pregnant with War” holds to grindcore. Norse takes an approach that refuses to confine itself to one genre. Instead, the music naturally and organically mutates as it searches for the boundaries of its own intensity and technicality.
It's been a long time since I have heard such a legitimately unnerving and disturbing album, something that makes a spine quiver and adrenaline pump due to such a genuinely heinous sound that diminishes and drives its deprivation so destructively downward. It truly is a pleasure to feel such evil enter your ears and undulate under your skin, an intoxicating venom that exudes omnipotence. Norse has created quite the concoction in 'The Divine Light of a New Sun' and is sure to crush you in its immense and inescapable gravity.