Demonhood Productions (2012)
The name translates to tree in ancient Norwegian. You may wonder why you haven't heard about Demonhood Productions thus far, but fear not, there are serious and dedicated people behind this new Norwegian label. It seems like their choices are devoted to more underground releases, but if one should judge by "Hedensk Skikk Og Tro" they aim for more than the mere underground.
The album, recorded at Conclave studio in Bergen and mixed in Endarker studio in Sweden, consists of a soundpicture that sounds familiar to those familiar with Norwegian black metal. It is clear and powerful, making me wonder what underground really means in this context. I mean, you have bands like Striborg and Teitanblood, where the sound is thin or muddy and definitely not for the mainstream people. Striborg fails, Teitanblood succeeds. Is it then underground when the sound is strong, clear and could just as well have been released on in example Nuclear Blast. I mean, the band from the Bergen area do not go clinical such as in example Nile do at times, Dying Fetus do all the time and Behemoth have done too many times. But you can hear every instrument and every tune very well.
The music changes between the more common way of doing black metal, meaning quite fast drumming and guitars that follow, and slower midpaced sections which gives the whole album the necessary dynamic totality. The main vocals are grim and those additions of a female is great. Spice is necessary to make a relative regular platter better. Viðr's rock'n black metal makes me think of good ol' Carpathian Forest, which is beneficial since that band haven't done much in recent years.
Many strong songs with great parts, a couple that make me think they could've reduced the amount to ten instead of twelve tracks. But with great efforts like "Trolldom" and my favourite "Strid", the whole album deserves repeated spins. The latter song is so übercatchy without being too much that I think I need to make an interview based only on that track.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Roy Kristensen