Let’s get philosophical: What is black metal? Is it a sound, a philosophy, a lifestyle choice or what? Well no of course I have no definitive answer, but I do tend to stand my ground when I say it’s certainly for me a blend of the first two. Maybe a tiny bit of the third.

Oh get over yourself, Giz, review the fucking thing already. Ok Brannthorde are German, and they have one full length and one other EP under their belts. As well as releases for two of them under the Fuck You And Die banner. Which apparently is technical death, which doesn’t surprise me as this reeks of technicality and musicianship. Riffs chop, change, stop and start on a pinhead when they want and the drumming is so on the spot. Vocals are good screaming black metal howls but, for me a little samey. It all speeds along well too, shimmering melodies icy cold over the top edge of the riff and with an undulation that tries to summon a tempestuous sound. Technically this is totally top notch stuff, no doubt.

I also thought I was going mad until I discovered that this four tracker is actually a two tracker. Which is a single to me. I have no idea why but the two tracks are repeated here. So two tracks. The title track and ‘Gierig Fur Immer’. The latter includes a sample of the Trump cockwomble, bleeder of the free world. Which kinda for me sits badly – black metal in my heart has nothing to do with real world politics, left or right or dawdling in the middle. See my opening wittering. It wears the clothes but underneath it walks a different path.

Here it helps though as it crystalised the issue: This sounds great, the two tracks, but for my taste it is not only too technical, sacrificing feel for accuracy, but it stirs none of my spirit. Many will really rate this and I understand that. As I say the musicality is excellent but sadly these two tracks fail to connect at that gut level for me. Sorry.

(5/10 Gizmo)