Svartahrid /Ex Inferi

Ex Inferi

Svartahrid is a black metal band from Norway. The band was formed in Skien, Telemark in 1994.

The Analysis:

Intro/Cursed Seeds Of The Nazarene—-Setting a pretty magnificent tone right from the onset, the short intro only slightly prepares you for the onslaught that comes with the first proper song. For me, the sound is a bit primitive and reminds you of the origins of Norwegian black Metal before it became too polished and delivered with finesse. This is Emperor quality Metal. There is some slight orchestration…thanks to some great keyboards, but the over all feel is one of evil, darkness and icy coldness. Exactly what the fellows from Norway are known for. This track has a pretty damn catchy chorus as well..whether you would like to admit it or not. And when this guy bellows….batten down the freakin’ hatches!!!

Scale Of Worth—-No fancy introductions or keyboard interludes welcome this track. Right out of the gate you are smacked with a bellow from hell….and the onslaught continues for the entire song…there are some slight tempo changes…this is so early Dimmu that you hold your breath thinking what this band may become. There are huge layers of atmosphere and a driven blackness that gives me goosebumps along my entire body. This is really quality Black Metal…I wonder if I’m the only Ohioan who knows this band…ummmm…probably!

Veil Of Lies—-Full of huge dark sounds from the very onset of the track, the added keyboards give the song a much bigger and epic feel. This is layered in that magnificent cold feel that classic bands from this part of the world are so good at. the vocal…is incredible…sounding like it is produced by lighting a torch under the singer, this is so driven and intense that you are worn out by the third track on this release. The drums on this record are so outstanding…forming the energy that is necessary for delivering this type of music track after track. There are some nice tempo interludes that help you keep your sanity…but all in all, this is exquisite Black Metal that will deliver…even upon repeated listens!

Ex Inferi—-Giving you no time to catch your breath, this track is delivered with extreme intensity right out of the gate. this release reminds me so much of my two favorite bands…Emperor and Gorgoroth….they all seem to be cut from the same genuine cloth. The drums…again….are just freakin’ incredible on this track as is the bass guitar delivery. The leads are important, but not nearly as pronounced or monumental as the bass delivery with this band. The added keyboards give the track an atmosphere that allows it the luxury from just being a bit of noise…melody is all important in my Black Metal listening..and this band delivers it without fail. I love this stuff!!!

March With Us—-Beginning with a slower and more sedate pace, that last for about 20 seconds before the mayhem sneaks up and smacks you so hard in the back of the head that you choke on your tongue. The song gives you zero respite from the onslaught…the noise is so dense and intense you will have to back up to catch your breath…throughout the entire noise-fest there is a remarkable melody that reminds you that this is a well constructed song. This is an amazing band…discovered by accident…..thanks E-Music!!!!

Fire Hate Kill!!!—-With a song title like this you would expect nothing less than what you are given. Right out of the gate this is laden with intensity, power, speed and an icy cold that travels throughout the entire track. The vocals on this song are breathtaking…the spewing of vomit and aggression is without a doubt the best I have heard in a long time…this to me is almost a rival to the last Gorgoroth release. This is only for the diehard, the committed and the crazy!

Blessed By Darkness—-With that incredible 4/4 death Metal drum delivery, right out of the gate this song leaves you gasping for breath and wondering if the last song even officially ended. The vocal is intense as hell…driven and delivering layer after layer of aggression, the varying tones never cease to exhibit aggression and vomit. The bass delivery on this release is literally breathtaking…you never realize the importance of this instrument in music until you hear it really take the spotlight on a release such as this…capable of brutality and melody all at the same time…this is simply remarkable!

Bastard Child—-Beginning with some nice funeral bells, the mayhem is a split second behind and delivers the same consistent and unrelenting beatdown that this entire release has delivered to your ears and brain. It is always refreshing when this type of band actually delivers lyrics that you can digest without the aid of a lyric sheet and careful studying.This is one of those kind of song…but the track never loses the intensity. This shit smacks you in the face and wags its tail as it runs away…leaving you flabbergasted and gasping for breath. This is assaulting and freakin’ magnificent!!!!

Lake Of Despair/Outro—-Delivered with zero tolerance for those who may need a moment to catch their breath, this band laughs with wide open smiles at the weak  and the uninitiated. This last track, delivered with the same drive and intensity as the first is a magnificent display of power, aggression and underlying hate that is almost contagious if you do not catch yourself. This track allows the re-introduction of the epic sounding keyboards that give the song a remarkable melody. The tempo changes that occur throughout the song add to the mood and the intensity…this is a magnificent display of the best that Norway has to offer.

****1/2 out of 5


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