Vindorn has set out to make its mark in an oversubscribed part of the black metal scene by carving out a unique sound all of its own. Not an easy prospect when you consider that malign and grim true black metal is something that is a path well trodden and yet this one man black metal project manages to come pretty close to carving its own signature. Single-mindedly focused and at times even positively unsophisticated, Perdition takes us on a rumbling journey through seven tracks of heavy and unforgiving atmospheres guiding us very much to the fringes of black metal and which reminds me of Pest or Arckanum. If you’ve ever had the feeling that black metal is becoming too grandiose or occultishly complex, then this might be the ticket to take you on a journey, if not back to the start, then back into the heart of black metal’s soul.

The creative force behind Northern Germany-based Vindorn, known only as N, makes way for a number of collaborators on Perdition which helps add to the slightly shifting vibe on what, at first glance, could easily be mistaken for merely a sequence of chunky, mid-paced black metal tracks. Stawrogin from Poland’s Odraza takes on vocals for third track Panie Diable (‘Mr Devil’) and there’s at least one other vocalist (as far as I can work out, other tracks are sung in a variety of Central European languages including Czech and possibly Slovak as oppose to the English the first track is delivered in). Vindorn’s brand of black metal comes with a menacing swagger that also has a hint of black n roll to it best illustrated by its use of varied drum patterns that very often seem to actively avoid succumbing to a descent into blast beats, preferring instead to rely on heavy, thundering basslines that feel as irrepressible as the malign atmospheres that Vindorn seeks to create.

Perdition takes time out of its sepulchral charge to deliver the cajun-tinged Panie Diable that sounds like a cross between the Misfits and a deranged Kampfar before packing up the campfire and getting back into the trundling scythe-adorned bulldozer from hell for Rozhodnuti Osudu (Czech for Decision of Fortune). And while there are times Perdition feels a little too tunnel focused and will no doubt even prove too one dimensional for some tastes, there is no doubting N’s skill for making atmosphere’s that so many bands toss to one side in the hope that lo-fi production will do the job for them. No, this is an album that has been well thought out with a directness that belies its subtle complexity some nice vocal touches to add to the menace. This one might well slay you from the outset but, if it fails to do that, it may still creep up on you when you least expect it.

(8/10 Reverend Darkstanley)