In a year crippled by Pandemic and fear, it’s nice to near its conclusion with with a review of one of the years little gems. Bergen, arguably the birthplace of Norwegian Black Metal, takes centre stage here as long standing originals Taake and younger but no less experienced Deathcult have collaborated over a sterling EP release entitled “Jaertegn”, released both on cassette and as a 10 inch vinyl by Edged Circle Productions.
Side A is a dual offering from Taake consisting of a new track by the name of “Slagmark” as well as a tribute to Darkthrone with their take on “Ravnajuv”. “Slagmark” is pure Taake, frenzied yet controlled, battering yet slick and sublime. A powerful Black Metal track with energetic drumming, polished relentless guitar melody and a vocal display that swings between raw/solid to mournful/droning at will, and as a whole the song has some excellent meandering rhythms to keep at bay any sense of complacency. And wouldn’t you know it, they do a great Darkthrone tribute too.
Side B is all Deathcult and features their own offering “Der Wurger” as well as some love for Beherit in the form of “Black Arts”. In stark contrast to Taake’s measured approach, Deathcult are a raging torrent of hate, a bile encrusted dose of savagery in the form of blistering fast guitar work, blast beats to match and searing vocal display that sheds light on the darkened psyche within the band. Simply put, Deathcult excel in a ravenous brand of Black Metal more intent on bludgeoning their audience than anything else. Climaxing with some lo-fi Beherit worship, “Jaertagn” highlights the different styles of Black Metal prevalent on Bergen alone.
An excellent advertisement for a country who can still dominate the Black Metal scene. (Heathen of the Horde)