Offering an old school blend of black & death metal, The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is the 4th release from Nidingr. It continues the upswing of quality blackened metal releases over the last few years.
The opening two tracks, Hangaguð & Surtr are a hell of a combo punch. One to the gut & the other an uppercut as you double over from the first. It’s a great start filled with throaty, growling vocals ripped from the darkest corners of hell. Blasting drum beats with winding & twisting guitar work, the disjointed sound serves to make you feel somewhat uncomfortable but instantly addicted.
The album itches at your brain, the rough sound not instantly appealing but something that begs to be heard in full.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire album is On Dead Body Shore, a thumping tempo with a riff that screams to be played loudly. It’s one of the most listenable tracks on the album designed to get the head-banging going.
Gleipnir offers something quite different afterwards though with its heavy bass sound ringing around your skull. The slow beat & echoed, whispered style vocals gives a much more ‘doom’ feel. Coming at the halfway point it breaks the album apart nicely & although it does up the tempo a bit it never loses that broody feel. A really great piece of music.
The rest of the album combines blurring death metal riffs, bloodied drum beats & roaring vocals highs in some songs. While in others, the black metal side of things steps up, slowing things down but retaining an intense heaviness.
The High Heat Licks Against Heaven finishes off on a epic high. Initially sounding far too similar to some of the other slower, doomier tracks. It turns things around with the inclusion of subtle female operatic vocals & one of the best guitar melodies found throughout. It’s a very strong finish to an album that really is an impressive piece of work.
While it’s not going to change much in the world of black/death metal it can sit proudly alongside the better releases we’ve had over the last few years.
Overall Track Listing:
3. The Ballad of Hamther
4. On Dead Body Shore
6. Sol Taker
7. Ash Yggdrasil
9. Valkyries Assemble
10. Naglfar is Loosed
You can pick the album over on Bandcamp here & on the North American Season of Mist website here. You can find out more about the band over on Facebook, on their official website here & on Indie Recordings here.
Nidingr - The High Heat Licks Against Heaven (Indie Recordings)
The Final Score - 8/10
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