Brotthogg, The Die Is Cast review (2020)

With an EP in 2017, The Last Traveler, and a succinct full-length album in 2019, Echoes of the Past, Brotthogg was poised to make a leap forward with their new release, The Die Is Cast.

Brotthogg is from Norway. The musicians are Kristian Larsen Moen, who is credited with playing all the instruments as well as writing the music and lyrics (clearly the creative force behind the production), Jonas Moen and Craig Furunes who both contribute vocals, and Stephen Carlson handling all guitar solos. It is an unusual arrangement compared to other bands, but you cannot argue with the outcome. The music is basically a melodic death metal casting with a strong vein of thrash running through it.

Are you wondering what the name of the band means? According to the band (via the press release), “The name Brotthogg is derived from an old forgotten Norwegian word in dialect meaning ‘The one who has to take care of the job, the unpleasant one.’” Interesting. The music does not have any sense of hesitance or slog to it, and is in fact powerful and robust. You often feel heroic elements in the narrative impulse of the songs, but the most memorable parts of the delivered music are the rapid staccato rhythms, the drumming, and the confident vocals. The sweltering impertinence of the speed and unbalancing progressions of songs like “Resurrection” complement well more straight-forward death/thrash enterprises like “Behind the Gateways” – but even in the more familiar framings, there is always some twist, epic or subtle, that marks the music as plainly Brotthogg. The resilience of the climbing scales and the technical risks of the lead breaks add even more depth the set. I am definitely on board. Recommended.

You can listen to two tracks now on Bandcamp, and the full album drops August 1. Bandcamp also has the back-catalogue (as does Spotify) if you find you like what you hear.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/Brotthogg/

https://brotthogg.bandcamp.com/

Brotthogg, The Die Is Cast review (2020)

Ormskrik, review (Fysisk Format 2020)

The new album from Ormskrik is the best possible kind of surprise – a dark thrash masterpiece we are going to listen to for years to come.

Ormskrik is a young band from Norway. The band is: Gjøran Bårdsen (vocals), Anders Skjæveland and Tormod Hansen (guitars), Erik Bakke (bass), and Kristoffer Fikstvedt (drums). Thrash is where I would put them if I had to pick a one-word description, but the black metal tradition in strong here too. If we try to analyze the alchemy, we might say the music begins in a black metal field that is infused with thrash then hastened with modernity and a saturating conjuror’s imagery. You almost never come across a new band that can survive a comparison to Slayer, but Ormskrik does. The music has that kind of speed and adds a black metal tone and a death metal tinge in the vocals. It is a mystical amalgam.

When I first listened to this album, I conceptualized it in three parts – two opening songs, an interlude, three middle songs, another interlude, and then the closing four songs. I am on board with the entire set, but it is the last part that really implanted itself in my mind. The troika of “Helheim,” “The Morbid Arrives,” and “Hecatomb” simply lays waste to your musical consciousness and the final track, “”Eye For An Eye,” verily finishes you off. The pulsing rhythm hooks and myriad merging confluences are propelling forces you cannot shake off. When the closer turns reflective halfway through, it is not what we expected, but it lands just right, as does the acoustic outro creating, as it does, a sort of final fugue (second voice). I am going to wrap this up now so I can go down to the lake, sit by myself, and get all clinical in my head about this album because I think there is a lot going on here. You don’t have to do a deep dive into your psyche to get into these songs, but you’ll know when you hear this album that it is something different, it is something special.

Orsmkrik is available now from Fysisk Format for a vinyl edition and Bandcamp for the digital. Get ahead of the curve and listen now. Highly recommended.

Band photo by Martine Cecilie Berger.

Links.

https://ormskrik.bandcamp.com/album/ormskrik

https://www.facebook.com/ormskrikband

https://www.facebook.com/fysiskformat https://www.fysiskformat.no

Ormskrik, review (Fysisk Format 2020)