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Nidvinter – Winter Wars [EP]

nidvinter – winter wars [ep]


‘Winter Wars’ is the first EP of the band Nidvinter, an Oslo-based band that arose from the ashes of Hexenkeit in early 2023. It follows an earlier released demo on which the band presented their blend of raw Black Metal and Dungeon Synth. This balance most strongly tilts in the raw Black Metal direction, strongly based on their Norwegian roots with a hint of a more French sound of say Seigneur Voland or Vlad Tepes. On the EP, the element of Dungeon synth comes back in the intro ‘Fallen Liege’ or the start of ‘Pagan Hate’, but it is also delicately mixed with the vicious Black Metal. This is particularly well done in the monumental ‘Kristalmaane’ and reminds me a bit of another recent Norwegian Black Metal band that impressed me, Trondheim’s Fellmoon.

‘Kristalmaane’ is a song worth spending a few extra sentences on in many regards. It’s a different, more mature and refined song amongst the five tracks. While there is some variation in production between all the songs, the music is fairly consistent: old school Black Metal with a distinct Pagan and somewhat melancholic undertone. The drums are dynamic and creative, the riffs effective and memorable, the tempo often pacey but with plenty of diversity so it feels far from generic. The vocals sound heartfelt in intent, and while in ‘Reign of Ruin’ some distortion is applied, the intensity of the raspy shrieks just as well excels in the tracks without that effect. But while the differences between most tracks is nuanced, ‘Kristalmaane’ is stylistically also a different beast. Clocking in at over 10 minutes it’s over twice the length of most other songs, and Nidvinter has adapted the songwriting here as well. A more droning, repetitive and enchanting song, it excels in dynamic drums and delicate use of the far more accentuating dungeon synths. The slowly dragging ending with just distorted guitars and shrieks is quite mesmerising and with a more depressive and ominous nature, the song is undeniably the centrepiece and highlight of this EP.

That the band at times is still searching for the exact sound and formula can be heard on ‘Winter Wars’, but the overall level of this recording is quite exceptional. In particular how Nidvinter blends their raw Pagan Black Metal with Dungeon Synth in the dynamic and lengthy ‘Kristalmaane’ is impressive, and the band seems to be on to something. Exciting EP, definitely a band with potential!


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