This is the third album from Finnish black metallers Ondfødt, a duo whose members are also in Dispyt.
On Norden we once again return to the frosted, unfriendly realms of Scandinavian second wave black metal. The music is as cold as the album cover, and takes the listener on a journey into Ondfødt’s grim world. With a duration of 39 minutes, this is the band’s longest album yet. The corresponding increase in overall song length means that we get some of the longest songs the band have penned, and the extra time hasn’t gone to waste.
The venomous vocals snarl and bite, as blackened melodies slither in and out of the music like serpents. The band’s use of forlorn melody is well-developed, and I must commend their occasional use of solos too, (especially the one in Han Bor I Skuggona). The rhythm guitars combine burly riffs and malignant groove, powering the songs forward. Alternating between old-school aggression and atmospheric might, the guitars are a prime part of why Norden works as well as it does. They’re not the only reason though, as all of the instruments come together well across the music.
The songs are aggressive and dark. They’re filled with icy atmosphere and a sense of malevolent grandeur. Well-written and delivered with passionate skill, Norden is an underground treat for fans of raw, traditional black metal.
A recommended listen.