Raw Records 2013
Norway's latest torchbearer for black metal, Midnattsvrede does an admirable job of capturing the old spirit of Nordic black metal on their debut demo. This 5-song recording bears all the hallmarks of mid 90s Norwegian black metal, from the organic feel of the songs, the ancient sounding production and the pagan atmosphere of the music. Hollow Corpse utilizes simplistic drum lines and cold riffs as well as ghoulish vocals to convey the earthy musk of the forest. The riffs slowly sway and Burzum-esque double-bass drumming form the foundation before the song quickens with a triumphant near-melody. A folkish acoustic instrumental called Momento Morii is up next and adds to the nostalgic mood of the demo. Det Voldelige Rav careens in from the darkness with its swirling riffs and wild drum lines. The song gives the impression that it is loosely sewn together. But there is a magical texture to the main riff that brings to mind a much rawer, more primitive version of Ved Buens Ende. Sawing guitars and buzzing riffs flow across the fabric of Bones And Nightmares. The track slows to a funeral pace and becomes somewhat amorphous. Towards the end of the song, when its tempo picks up, it becomes a bit loose. Ultmarsj marches with an almost death metal riff initially. A Hellhammer-ish brutality exists in the track's early spirit. The songwriting could do with a little refinement and should result in a more cohesive feel to their future recordings. However, this is a promising demo. It shows that the ancient spirit of Nordic black metal is still burning strongly and exists in darkened corners of the underground inhabited trollish specters and pagan revenants.