Bizarrekult are a Norwegian post-black metal band and this is their second album.
Formed around a central artist who is Bizarrekult’s driving creative force, he’s joined by a range of other musicians, (including a member of the mighty Adliga), who round out the band nicely. The end result of their efforts is Den Tapte Krigen, a 42-minute slice of expressive modern black metal.
This record is shimmery and ethereal, but also has teeth and an aggressive bite. The songs combine blackgaze atmospherics with lethal blackened extremity and traditional Norwegian groove, making for music that’s emotive and sharp. The use of old and new influences to inform the music is well-judged, and parts of Den Tapte Krigen remind me of the Scandinavian second wave, whereas others are much more contemporary in nature.
A harsh emotive darkness that’s raw and unrelenting sits at the heart of the music, but it’s coated in varying shades of black, from the ancient to the modern. Khold-esque rhythms power the music while bright melodic post-metal leads soar and die. Blast beats sit next to affecting soundscapes that would have done Alcest, Anathema, or The Gathering proud. Black ‘n’ roll riff-heavy attitude is offset by the sort of considered intricacy that’s resplendent, yet introspective. Yes, Den Tapte Krigen has a lot of moving parts, but they’re all delivered seamlessly into a holistic package that’s very strong.
The primary vocal delivery of choice is harsh screams. These are performed by the main artist behind the band, and his voice is passionate and raw. His screams are occasionally supplemented by gorgeous clean singing from another vocalist; her voice is infrequently heard, but when it’s deployed it is striking and impactful.
Den Tapte Krigen has personality and character. The songs are well-crafted and it’s an album that has much replay value. Boasting both alluring hooks and depth of atmosphere, Den Tapte Krigen has much to offer black metal fans. Bizarrekult have impressed.
Very highly recommended.