Release DetailsLABEL Regimental
RELEASED ON 3/26/2007
posted on 8/2007 By:
With France, Eastern Europe and the American west coast seeming to lead black metal into its new direction, the second wave of the early 90s is becoming old news these days. Enter Ornias, a Swedish trio who still play black metal like it’s 1994 and who, as their Regimental Records debut Death Bringer shows, want to keep Scandinavia’s trademark sound on the map. Similarities to early Darkthrone are hard to ignore, and make no mistake, this is raw old school black metal through and through, nary a progressive frill or Gregorian chant to be found. Just look at that cover art: it screams trveness.
At a compact 36 minutes, Death Bringer is an exercise in straightforward, ripping black metal. With a few minor exceptions (“Ju 87 Stuka” features a brief spoken word passage), these songs blast onward full of chilling riffs and blasting drums that keep the aggression steady. And when a mid-paced section or an acoustic guitar makes an odd appearance (as in the short “Dödslängtan”), it doesn’t feel out of place at all. Ornias execute their old school worship well, proving themselves not only to be adept at the primal, aggressive side of this sound; they succeed at creating really effective atmospheres that keep the overall mood of the album exceptionally grim and hold everything together. Listen to the instrumental tracks that bookend the album, or the entirety of “Shattered and Torn,” a simple and effective track that does a fantastic job at communicating its despair. The production is fittingly thin and suits the style, although maybe it’s a little too thin for my tastes in places. They could achieve the same grim aesthetic with a little fuller sound, I’m sure.
However much as I enjoy this album, and as great as tracks like “Resentiment” or “Veka Människa, Dö!” are, it is rather same-y, and a few songs just grow old faster than they should. See “Purification” and “Den Sista Marschen.” Besides, do you really need another album like this in your collection? This is far from relevant, but if you love the sound of the second wave then you can’t go wrong with Death Bringer.
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