Another year and another debut black metal album from the icy wastelands of Norway, this time it’s from a duo with a formidable pedigree under their bullet belts. The duo is led by Infamroth of ‘Throne Of Katarsis’ and ‘Skuggeheim’ fame amongst others. The band were conceived in 2001, and finally the day is upon us where ‘Naer Doden’ is broken out of the gates of hell and unleashed upon us.

‘Inngang’ starts the proceedings and is a brief but chilling intro to the raw blackness that is about to follow. ‘Ritual’ is about as raw and demonic as it gets and the vocals are a portrayal of the Norwegian black metal community – totally raw and uncompromising

‘Astral’ is haunting with a backdrop of beating drums and intermittent chants echoing through the solitude, while ‘Natasatan’ is delicate in its intro and continues throughout as a frost ridden ballad, which offers up some respite from the battering that the rest of the album offers up. ‘Instinkt’ opens with some intricate guitar works before the pair return to the more traditional black metal approach, again they inject some clean vocals which can at times detract from the rawness and brutality.

Throughout the release, the band draw on assistance from guests who bring their vocal talents, Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Grutle Kjellson (Enslaved) and Hoest (Taake, Gorgoroth), and they all interact with precision and vengeance which adds to the albums primitiveness

This is black metal from the highest echelons and it is obvious that it has been spawned from black metals spiritual home of Norway, it just speaks volumes that the band are so confident in the albums quality that they have conjured up their own brand, namely ‘Nasjonalnekromantism Svart Metall’

(8/10 Phil Pountney)