Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, December 2, 2019

Nattverd - Styggdom

In an era where black metal seems to have, as a genre fractured into a million different pieces, it's strangely reassuring to have a group who stay to the tried and true ideas of second wave black metal. It's even better when that group delivers at an extremely high level. The deep understanding of second wave black metal tropes found throughout Styggdom, the second full length from Nattverd is excellent. This is proof positive that a decade into their careers Nattverd are putting out some of their best stuff to date.

The blasting assault of this record makes itself known for the first. Yet it is on tracks like Gamle Erik where the death croak counterbalances with howled invocations. The swirling magic of the band seems to take them from peak to peak. The blazing snowstorm that they conjure up is delectable and continually hinting at the quasi-apocalyptic leanings of the band. There is a sense of sonic torment that serves to make this a thrilling listen. Nattverd continually push over the top, but the more time they spend doubling down on core concepts of the genre the more you realize they are at the top of their game.

Nattverd are the sort of band who remind us why Bergen is known throughout the world for its black metal scene. It's a city where bands like this can rise up and impress time and time again. Styggdom is a unique act, a potent act and one that seems to continually improve. This sophomore record is clear proof that Nattverd are among the best in the business at present and the sheer level of intensity that they bring is a thing to be cherished, admired, and in some cases possibly even feared - it's simply that good.

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