Last April we premiered the self-titled debut EP of a Norwegian band named Gjendød, released by Darker Than Black Records, and now it’s our pleasure to premiere a stream of this duo’s first album. Entitled Nedstigning, it will be released on CD by Hellthrasher Productions on February 24th, with tape and vinyl editions to follow from Darker Than Black.
The album is dramatic, ice-cold, and beguiling, equal parts majestic and morbid, incinerating and depressive. While it’s a devoted embracing of Nordic black metal traditions, it provides changing shades of frost-bitten intensity while never relenting in its exposition of a pitch-black hopelessness.
The album reveals more facets of Gjendød’s obsidian grimness than last year’s EP, but there are certain constants, all of which are electrifying — the speed and intensity of the boiling riffs and the blasting drums; the bleak emotional force of the melodies; the prominence (and surprising warmth) of the very agile bass lines; and the utterly excruciating effects of the vocals — a range of abrasive snarls and shrieks, strangled growls, demented yells, and tyrannical proclamations that together embody terrible agony and maniacal rage.
“Til Høsten” launches the album in a fury but reveals a melancholy melody that becomes more and more entrancing even as the song becomes more delirious in its intensity. “Nedstigning” changes directions, starting at a slow and stately pace, the music exudes a chilling, depressive aura of repressed hysteria — which then boils over as the drums begin to thunder and the rippling riff intensifies. Moving between these contrasting tempos, the song becomes a potent representation of deep agony.
“Håpet Falmer” is even more dynamic, beginning in a galloping fury that generates a grim and seething atmosphere, a sonic embodiment of ferocity with an intense and engrossing melody, yet eventually changing into a sound that’s stately and majestic — yet tinged with a circling madness.
Where “Amputasjon Av Vranglæren” burns like a toxic bonfire, “Kvalt Av Fornuft” is disturbing and dissonant, a tension-ratcheting frenzy of warped, maniacal guitar work that surges with dangerous intensity.
“Utrydd Den” is yet another unrelenting paroxysm of cold-blooded ferocity, but it features a penetrating warlike melody and a rapid-fire bass line that further energizes the music’s pulse-pounding energy.
And to close the album, Gjendød give us “Ny Innsikt”. Dissonant and deranged at the beginning, and driven by a rapid-fire snare drum with a tight, popping tone, the song segues into a bounding rhythm with a writhing lead, a racing onslaught bursting with feral energy, and a pulsing back-beat with a flickering lead at the end.
To repeat, Nedstigning will be released on February 24, in a jewel-case CD with an 8-page lyric booklet by Hellthrasher Productions. There will be no pre-order opportunities, so visit these locations on and after the release date for purchase information:
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