I must say that the highly dramatic symphonic strains of the opener to this album immediately put one of my favourite bands Carach Angren into my mind. Given that Slagmaur are known for their outlandish outfits on stage and more importantly for striking terror into listeners with their black metal music, this comparison was standing up so far.

Obscure voices stand behind the violent music of an impending hanging. The scene is dark and stormy. As I was wondering if the threat was ever going to be carried out, deadly hissing vocals cut in. “The Drummer of Tedworth” paints an inexorable and remorseless picture of the grim reaper in action. Moans rise above the chaos. That relentless funeral beat continues. The choir represents the devil. The rhythm is hypnotic and merciless. “Werewolf” is music to accompany eye gouging. “Bestemor Sang Djevelord” (Grandmother Song Devil Lord or something like that) continues the steady carnage. Whilst I’m ok with all this unpleasantness, and the atmosphere of constantly black clouds, and the little touches like the piano, it’s all like a march to nowhere in Norwegian. “ Hekeskritt ov Djevelritt” is like a satanic march to war. Chaos and violence resonate. Insane ranting emits forth. The world of Slagmaur is extreme. A sinister undercurrent runs through “Hekeskritt ov Djevelritt” while terrified human voices cry out helplessly. The tension mounts. The distant screams do not abate, and the horror just continues until it stops sharply and the merciless riffage of “Hansel unt Gretel” begins. The world depicted is loud, chaotic and infested by the wails of human terror. Relentlessly and mechanically it goes on, laying waste to everything in its way. The delivery is ritualistic. The grim reaper returns on “Ja Vi Elsker Dette Landet” (Yes We Love This Country), another theme tune for a punishment gang.

“Thill Smitts Terror” is so deep and harsh that in parts it’s quite a difficult listen. In others, it’s a vivid and ritualistic representation of horror and suffering. In spite of its quirks and irresistible terror, it didn’t musically rise out of the ashes for me.

(6.5/10 Andrew Doherty)