Norwegian black metal is perhaps one of the most infamous genres of music with a seemingly endless catalogue of dubious events that will forever be entwined with the distinctive brand of majestic icy blasts. However, since the infamous early 90s many bands have evolved their style into subgenres now barely recognisable as “True Norwegian Black Metal”, but there are others who are keeping alive the original spirit through their abrasive releases.
Hailing from Trondheim, Whoredom Rife are one such band, sticking true to the musical roots of Norwegian Black Metal while injecting their own modern interpretation. For the last four years or so, they have been unleashing their unholy blasphemy through devastating live shows (including a memorable show at Inferno where I first encountered them) and caustic studio outpourings culminating in their latest release ‘NID – Hymner Av Hat’.
The album wastes no time with pretentious intros, instead blasting straight into ‘Summoning the Ravens’, a no frills black metal onslaught with an epic sound laying the foundations for the rest of the album. Momentum is kept up with ‘Verdi Oeydest’ with the vocal style veering towards mid era Mayhem. A brief acoustic guitar interlude breaks up the pummelling at the start of ‘Where the Shadows Dwell’ before a frenetic barrage takes over. Midway through the track, the acoustic guitar sound reappears over icy winds providing brief respite before the torrent continues.
‘Hyllest’ is a gnarly beast which snarls at breakneck speed leading to ‘Crown of Deceit’ which perhaps has a little more melody and is one of the album’s stand out tracks. Things are brought to a close by ‘New Hate Dawns’ which slows things down but is no less venomous and ‘Ceremonial Incantation’ which, with its sublime melodies, is another stand out track.
‘Hymner Av Hat’ translates to ‘Hymns of Hate’ which is a fitting moniker for this exemplary musical expression of hatred and despair, a confrontational slab of malevolent melodies and snarling vocals, which is a prime example of 21st century Norwegian black metal.
(9/10 Andy Pountney)