Fair warning: this week’s trio of recommended music releases isn’t for the faint-hearted. We’re heading off into the wilds of lightning-fast aggression and infinite negativity, with a pair of Norwegian bands and a pretty damn ugly outfit from Slovenia just itching to smash your head in. For something a little easier on the ear, check out the new record by Deathray Bam!, a rather weird affair in its own right.
The High Heat Licks Against Heaven
Featuring veterans of various parts of Norway’s extreme music scene, Nidingr’s third full-length album is perfectly pitched for our ears. A little death takes the edge off its black and a little black takes the edge off its death, leaving a finely balanced and entirely malevolent work that tears out of the blocks with the pulsating crunch of the first four songs. And then, there’s ‘Gleipnir’. It elevates The High Heat Licks Against Heaven from its claustrophobic atmosphere and embraces a darker and more measured sense of threat. Vicious but eminently accessible, this album might be one you’ll someday wish you hadn’t overlooked.
Please Just Dance Death
It might be over and done with in a shade over 20 minutes, but with nine fully-formed little ragers to its name we’re definitely classing Please Just Dance Death as an album. You know, just in case it comes in handy at the – ahem – end of the year. IEatHeartAttacks are a fraternal two-piece from the heart of Norway and their debut record is packed to the rafters with rumbling punk ‘n’ roll riffing. Throw in the more spacious and pensive nature of ‘M.I.A.’ and we’ve got something really quite impressive on our hands. Opener ‘Liar’ and ‘Drowning Is My New Favourite Thing’ are killer. The chorus riff in the title track is on another level still.
The Call Of Agony
If you’re into the impossibly chunky head-bobbing chug that makes ‘8 Minutes’ one of its highlights, you’re likely to love the rest of Slund’s The Call Of Agony, a bombardment of twisting, grinding sludge broken up only by some delicious, doomy slow parts. ‘Numb & Sick’ immediately follows and shows off the band’s speedier side, and it’s in that juxtaposition that this album really thrives. There are a bunch of thrashy riffs and limitless nastiness here, and what else could you possibly want? It might be a record for a particular mood, but The Call Of Agony is a hell of a way to scratch that itch and the standard remains high throughout.
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