What do you get when you take the bleak, self-mutilating, drug-abusing, nature-worshiping tortured mental patient aesthetic of Lifelover and the intense, evil, loud, dirty and vicious sound of Taake and basically put them in a blender? Well, if you turn it on and let it run long enough to mix em’ up real good, you get this!
Norway’s Gjendød is a new band to the scene and they have arrived with quite an impact. They follow up their very solid self-titled debut EP with their excellent debut full-length album Nedstigning. What this band presents in sound is a very atmospheric but very intense brand of fast, brooding and true to the roots modern Black Metal. Some may call it Depressive Black Metal and others may call it Atmospheric or True Norwegian Black Metal and I wouldn’t really argue with any of them because it is a unique mix of all of those. The Depressive distinction can come mostly from the visual aspect of the band. If you look at the cover art of this album and the booklet pictures and see two weird looking dudes with bloody wrists walking around a desolate forest, you’re likely going to think about bands like Lifelover or Vanhelga or maybe Benighted in Sodom or any other of those bands that brought DSBM (I hate that term, by the way) to heavier and more melodic heights (probably to jump off of… heh). The True Norwegian or old school Black Metal distinction can come from the fast, loud, blast beat-ridden, evil riffs and even more evil vocals-filled viciousness of the music itself, and the atmospheric distinction can come from the hazy, dreary atmosphere that surrounds the chaos that ensues throughout this 33-minute assault. All of these descriptions are understandable as far as I can see it.
The band’s style, as I said is a vicious mix of nasty, shrieky straight up old-school hearted Black Metal with a touch of modern flavor, comparable to the likes of Gorgoroth and Taake mixed with dreary, atmospheric production you can also get from Wolves in the Throne Room or even Grinning Death’s Head. The blend of atmosphere and aggression done in their style, makes for a pretty brooding experience, even with the short running time. Speaking of which, the short running time is another plus. While I do like longer albums here and there, as long as it can keep me invested, i’m more of a fan of short, sweet and to the point easier listens. This albums was able to accomplish that while being interesting enough to leave a lasting impression with such a short album. Same thing was done with the new Power Trip album, which was also fucking fantastic.
Overall, I do recommend this album to any and all Black Metallers looking for something fresh and interesting. These guys have left a good first impression on me and I look forward to their next release for damn sure. This is an excellent piece of raw, dissonant Black Metal art for fans of any style. If you’re like me and enjoy the evil, raw and downright nasty side of Black Metal, then this one is for you. This band will definitely garner more recognition and go places in the future if they keep this splendid ugliness up.
Until next time.