Anyone remotely interested in underground Black Metal must at least have stumbled once upon a band out of Norways Trondheim scene. They have been dominating the underground scene for over a decade and have basically taken over the crown and throne of Norwegian legends of old. That Trondheim scene, also referred to as the Nidrosian Black Metal scene, is known for its almost ritualistic approach to the Black Metal scene and played by an intimate circle of dedicated musicians with an insatiable thirst for death and the occult.
One of the most intriguing bands out of the Nidrosian Black Metal scene is definitely Jammerskrik. While equally dark and haunting, with the same proclivity for death and self-destruction, they offered a far from standard brand of Black Metal. Slow and repetitive Black Metal is often referred to as Depressive Black Metal, but hardly ever comes close to being as dark and truly terrifying as the two lengthy songs on ‘Innlemmet I Mørke’, which aptly translates to ‘Embraced By Darkness’. The extremely slow music almost gets into Funeral Doom-like territories, yet omits its crushing guitars. Instead it has hallucinating and hypnotising bleak riffs that might push the average soulsearcher just over the edge. While this sort of music tends to quickly wear down and ends up being bogged down into endless buzzing, Jammerskrik keeps you on your toes for the entire ride. That is mostly due to the mesmerizing guitar work and the subtle drums, courtesy of Steingrim Torson, one of the key figures in the Nidrosian Black Metal scene. Musically it seems largely inspired by the long-drawn out tracks by Burzum, with the very subtle keyboard melodies that keeps coming back over and over again in a total hypnotizingly mind blowing way. At the second half of the second track, ‘Fullmaane, Ondskap Og Hat’ (‘Fullmoon, Evil And Hatred’) they even get into Abysmal Grief-like territories with the additional use of eerie sounding organs.
This reissue is kept very true to its original. The artwork is kept as well as the initial two-tracks. So it doesn’t have anything fancy, no gatefold cover, no line-notes, no bonustracks and as far as I was able to judge, the tracks are not (much) tampered with either – it has only been mastered for vinyl by Kark (Dødsengel). The reissue is as basic as it gets, to make it fit with the original and the musical content.
The original recordings were released on cassette tape by Nordkult Rituals in 2008, following the equally great ‘Demo I’ from 2005. Since Steingrim’s death in spring 2009, a lot of the projects he was involved in got to a hold. Though not officially disbanded, nothing happened with Jammerskrik ever since. Their sole album was always intended to appear on vinyl too, but it never got materialised until halfway last year, when Terratur Possessions finally made that happen. That label was a long-time companion of Steingrim and a part of the Nidrosian Black Metal scene since the very start, so it was the only right way that this album would ever see the dark of night. Holding this vinyl release, I can definitely say that it is a modest, yet honest and heart-felt homage to a band that should never be forgotten.