posted on 9/2008 By:
Svartahrid’s Malicious Pride is fairly standard Norwegian black metal with all the appropriate boxes ticked. From the frost-bitten riffs and raspy vocals to the galloping drums and mild implementation of keyboards, there’s nothing new at all to be heard here. Still, it’s not a bad listen. There are some good riffs scattered throughout this album, as well as some reasonably compelling melodies. Svartahrid’s main problems are the lack of a distinctive sound and a limited musical palette, rendering this album fairly generic.
Musically, Svartahrid aren’t all that sophisticated but the guitarwork is above average and provides more than a few noteworthy moments during the course of Malicious Pride. Songs like “Death to All!”, “Freezing Sorrow” and “Scorched” are bolstered by some tasty, thrash-inspired grooves that are dead on in terms of their catchiness and intensity. The drumming on the other hand is a little monotonous, with the same stock patterns and fills cropping up from song to song. On the plus side the vocals of frontman Istar, while standard, deliver the goods with his suitably cold and agonized snarl complimenting the music nicely. Unfortunately, even the strong points fail to raise any of these songs above merely good.
Despite containing a few inspired moments, Malicious Pride is ultimately an average black metal album. Svartahrid simply aren’t outstanding in any respect and I can’t really imagine anyone falling over themselves to hear this. More dynamic songwriting and increased musical depth are the two key elements required if this band are to stand out from the blackened hordes any time soon. Until then, this is strictly for genre fans.
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