Exposing Shadows: an interview with Accuser of Revelation’s Hammer

by Cecilie Molteberg.

by Cecilie Molteberg

With venom coursing its veins and a ravenous hunger to its invention and exploration, the self-titled album from Norway metallers Revelation’s Hammer is an enthralling expanse of compelling aural drama and rapacious antagonism, black metal at its more rapacious and provocative. A long time in emerging, the album is one of the startling high points of the year in metal so far and one we wanted to know much more about. Taking the opportunity to talk to its creator Accuser, we unveiled a long string of questions to explore more about his reason and intent on forming the project, the album and its long journey to finding its release, and much more.

Hi and many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Reading the promo accompanying your debut album it is stated that Revelation’s Hammer emerged as not only a vehicle for your creativity musically but also to give a freedom to express your thoughts and passions. Could you expand on that for us?

Greetings Pete! First of all, thanks for your great interest in Revelation’s Hammer. The best way to express your true feelings regarding your surroundings or even visions of our chaotic world is in my opinion through something as simple (or insanely complex?) as music…At least if we think in terms of creativity and art. Clearly I don’t believe in this glorifying society of happiness where everyone is living in a fucking bubble gum valley, loving and praising each other every day. So when I write my art, I’ll search my soul for answers and strength instead of using time on a fictional God. It’s so much bullshit going on in our world, and my way of expressing my hatred against it all is through my music.

What were your inspirations musically and personally for the project?

I really don’t like to point out concrete sources for inspiration, or even analyse it…I think it’s really more relevant to focus on the result and its possible improvements rather than the progressing methodology. When I sit down with the guitar on my lap to create music, I don’t think of this or this band, or try to make a song similar to another band’s song…I do my own thing, in my own way…Focusing on the parts that immediately give something to your soul. Regarding personal inspirations I would rather say that the strong spirit of this band evolves from myself exploring my inner (ref: human) side. I believe there’s a hidden beast within every one of us.

You come from Sætre, a small town in Eastern Norway of course; did that setting make any distinct impacts on your thoughts and the atmospheric canvas for your startling sounds?

I guess everything is making an impact – really on a daily basis. As you form as a person every day, your creativity is developing based on your impressions, experiences and growing culture. Your ideas and passion gets stronger, and your own understanding of reality really affects you as an artist.

Was Revelation’s Hammer originally intended just as a solo project and if so when did you realise you needed to expand personnel?

by Cecilie Molteberg

by Cecilie Molteberg

I started the project on my own cause I didn’t know any musicians at that time that I wanted to work with. My original plan was to find full time members to the band ASAP, and personally only do the guitars on the album. About one year into the writing process, I met this drummer Bergh, and invited him to the line-up. Still, I was the only composing part of the band, and the only one really serious about it. I continued to look for other musicians while me and Bergh kept rehearsing…then, when I finished the writing of our first chapter in 2009, things didn’t go as planned with Bergh…We had a lot of complications and disagreements between us, and I finally told him to quit. So on I started to feel more interested in getting session members instead of permanent members to get involved. Myrvoll (NIDINGR) joined on session drums shortly after, and while we rehearsed for the first recording session, it got more and more obvious that I was going to play all the instruments except drums. Today, I feel slightly different about it. I really want to be able to do shows, and by that reason I want to gather three more musicians for future gigs. It’s not impossible that R.H will turn into a full band someday either, but then again, I really need to meet the right musicians before involving anyone into the inner circle.

You mentioned Myrvoll there, tell us how the link up with him, also the drummer of the excellent Nidingr, came about?

In fact, Myrvoll joined Revelation’s Hammer as a session drummer about two years before he got recruited by Nidingr. Their album “Greatest of Deceivers” got released seven months before R.H’s album, but was also recorded two years later. It was quite a coincidence that I met him actually. When I split up with Bergh in 2009, I needed a really good drummer ASAP, because the album was already about finished. It feels a bit like a coincidence, because I got introduced to him through a mutual friend of ours almost right after the split. Myrvoll was fortunately available at the time and really liked my music, so we figured out that we wanted to work together quite fast…

Was that the only aspect of your music you felt you needed or was able to bring in another’s craft and skill for?

As I mentioned a bit earlier, in the early days I really planned to get more musicians to play on the album to separate the roles a bit more…But I guess I finally realized the benefits about being my own boss? More time to focus and a whole less time on discussions. The whole revelation was also evolving more and more into an important part of my personal life, so at one point in the recording process I guess it felt kind of unnatural to bring in more people. But I did really try working with several vocalists and even went into studio with one of them, but the result just didn’t work. Maybe I’m hard to deal with cause I know how I want my music, I don’t know…But at one point, it was whole lot of easier to just decide that this was going to be a solo album with session and guest members only. I was already familiar with my own bass lines, so I just needed to figure out how I was going to do the vocals.

You have just released your outstanding self-titled debut album, a release it is fair to say that is an exhausting and thrilling confrontation of compelling aural drama and rapacious antagonism. The album’s recording was a prolonged experience from its first session in January of 2012, what held up its creation?

I guess you mean January 2010? You’re absolutely right. In fact it’s really ridiculous that it took us fucking 41 months from when we started to record until we actually got to release the album. But you know it was so many things that just didn’t work out and caused everything to get more and more delayed. It was different line up problems, troubles with availability of the people I wanted to work with, difficulties in getting hold of a decent studio to record the vocals, back and forward with the mixing and mastering results etc. Several unfortunate events caused a lot of bullshit.

Taking so long to emerge did it evolve further than you originally envisaged in sound and presence with that extra time to think about things?

I would at least say that it made me really conscious about what I was doing. Of course, each separate process was quite hardworking and exhausting in many ways, partly because of the total focus and dedication to the music. Even if I had a day off or didn’t really need to do anything regarding the project for a short period of time, I always found something to work on. I listened to the tapes over and over, and wrote a lot of notes for the next mixing or mastering session. Peter In de Betou actually started to master the album already in 2010, but I later realized I wasn’t satisfied with the first mixing result and then the whole process had to start all over. Hah! You know…I’m a man of perfection, and really wanted to make an album I was going to be able to stand for in the next ten or fifty years. I’m very much into details, push my own limits quite far and always make sure that I’m in control over the result.

by Cecilie Molteberg

by Cecilie Molteberg

As we talked of the band allows you to express your feelings and views on life and the world, so we can assume the album and songs are a deeply personal?

Yes, as I talked about in the introduction…Still, the exact motivation behind Revelation’s Hammer will remain untold. Everyone’s responsible for laying their own puzzle.

Do you think your songs will always come from personal seeds?

The only thing that I’m certain about is that my lyrics will continue to be based on different themes I either find interesting, engaging or even provoking. What the hell is the point with writing something you can’t relate to? That’s just meaningless, dumb and not interesting.

How do you generally create songs, what is your favoured process?

It really depends…But often, I find myself with the guitar on my lap, and instead of figuring out what to play; I let the music flow natural while I just play various themes. When I’ve found something to work on, I usually write it down, before I’ll test different assistant compositions with the other instruments (drums and bass). I usually arrange part for part with all instruments together. It’s important to hear how it all sound together, cause if one instrument sounds like shit, the whole song will sound like shit! In the final process, I add eventual final details; and maybe rearrange the whole composition in an attempt to improve its correlation. It’s a really hard process, but also a very giving one…

What is the core theme for the album and connecting songs?

A great keyword would be “ignorance”, but each of the songs has really their own core theme and tells their own individual story. The different themes can still happen to be connected to each other or share common values, but not necessarily. The six hymns represent the first part of a greater truth and a greater world. But since Revelation’s Hammer is not going to be revealed through this interview, I can’t say any more about it than that. Your delusions are often easier to handle than the truth!

The tracks on the album confront and provoke reactions in the listener emotionally and in thought, even with some in your native tongue which is testament to your potent songwriting and sounds. Did you aim for this rich effect within songs or was it something which was organically bred as tracks evolved?

First, I want to say that I truly appreciate opinions like that about our work. I think some of the best compliments you can give an artist is that they have succeeded in creating an emotionally or psychological disturbing effect with their work. Either shocked, or made someone feel terrible ill. It’s the same thing regarding the cinema industry…The really good movies are the ones that give you a true feeling. The feeling doesn’t need to be positive, and could easily have been that a piece of music caused you mental illness or insanity…Because then it clearly has really strong powers and will definitely be remembered. When you’re in the writing process I don’t think you’re able to aim at this concrete kind of art ideology… Because everything’s very subjective, and when you basically write music for your own mind, it’s even harder to be able to create something that causes other people reactions as for example sorrow or hatred.

There has been a wealth of releases utilising and exploring textures and layers within their sound recently but so often these are lost within one overwhelming aspect. Your album gives clarity and expression to all whilst seamlessly lying hand in hand with each other. How intensively do you have to work to achieve that success?

Personally, I appreciate both music and production that gives you the impression of being right in the middle of it. The concept of “less is more” doesn’t fit my song writing. So the result is probably a combination of my own way of composing music, and a lot of hours in the studio; Recording, mixing, mastering…You know, when you’re in the centre of a production like this, you really don’t think of all the effort you put in along the way. However, when you look back at everything, it sure was tough to get the result I had in mind. So I guess the answer to your question is “very intensively”?

The album was as you said completed a couple of years ago, have you been tempted to continue adding or evolving things since or are you a person to say when something is done it is done?Artwork by Ricardo Fernandes.

From the first recordings in 2010 to the final mastering and my personal acceptance of the album in 2011 I continued to add elements and evolve the whole expression almost constantly. Looked for changes and improvements while I tried to get it 100% as the vision I had while writing the material. But after the final mastering in April 2011, I said to myself… This is it. Now it’s done. Finished. And it gave me a psychological effect that truly worked. I finally managed to accept the album, and said stop to future changes. When I listen to the album today, of course I’ll find sections I know that could have been performed better or done in a smarter way, but in my head I treat the album as something that belongs to my past, and chooses to not bother. If I wasn’t able to think of it like this, I would probably have worked on the album forever and no one would ever been able to hear Revelation’s Hammer.

The release was mastered by the legendary Peter In de Betou who you mentioned earlier, was it easy to persuade the man to bring his craft to the album?

I sent Peter an e-mail where I told him about the project. I wrote that Børge from Toproom was responsible for the mix and that he had recommended him to me to do the mastering. He responded in just a few hours and declared that he wanted to do this. I got kind of surprised by his positive response, because he seems to be a pretty busy man with an often full booked calendar. He actually started to work on the project only four days later.

What then held up its actual release after the studio work was finished and release mastered etc.?

The final mastering took place April 2011, and after that I spent very much time looking for a trustworthy label that I actually wanted to release our album through. This process took a lot more time than expected cause the interested labels either had their release schedule full for a long time or offered me contracts with terms I didn’t feel satisfied with. I believe the music industry is really hard these days, causing more and more bands to just release and print everything on their own. Still, I chose to keep looking and got in touch with Francesco from Italian Dark Metal label My Kingdom Music in November 2012 and signed a worldwide recording and distribution contract with him in March the following year. I guess one of the positive side effects of all the delays is that we seem to have generated a group of followers over the years, and it’s really amazing to see that many of our early followers is still hanging around as they did several years ago. Hopefully our album met their expectations when it finally got released.

 What was it about My Kingdom Music which persuaded you they were the perfect vehicle for the album’s release?

We negotiated and communicated for almost five months, so we really got to know each other and understood what we both wanted. In fact, I’m really glad that we used a lot of time talking. I think it’s important to build trust with a partner you’re probably going to cooperate with for several years. I’m certain that an artist that basically signs everything he gets on paper really regrets it afterwards.

Tell us about the sensational artwork wrapping the release.

The artwork is put together by the Portuguese artist Ricardo Fernandes. I’m really happy with his result, and I think he did succeed in making really extraordinary art which symbolizes R.H’s vision of the world. We brainstormed several ideas and worked our way through several sketches to get to the final result. The cover art in front is really a collage built upon a careful selection of (anti)religious paintings. Ricardo’s friend Marcelo Rodrigues designed our logo…I think he’s primarily works as a tattoo artist in Portugal. And a Norwegian guy named Hans Jørgen Nygårdshaug inserted the lyrics and text to the booklet. The portraits is taken by Norwegian photographer Cecilie Molteberg and edited by myself.

by Cecilie Molteberg4How are things progressing towards the band performing live, have you anything in place to support the album live wise?

I’m definitely looking for live musicians, but haven’t any official information to share with you regarding this yet. You will be able to see our revelation live one day, but when really depends on how fast I’ll find the right kind of musicians to involve.

Such the gap between creating and releasing the album we assume you have more material or advanced ideas in the works for its successor. Anything you can reveal here and now?

Of course I have lots of ideas and thoughts around our next chapter, but it’s too early to reveal how the progress is going besides that everything is basically in a very early phase. But continue to follow our sites and I’m going to keep you all updated.

Once again thank you for sharing time and thoughts with us, and may we say all dark metal fans should check out Revelation’s Hammer band and album.

Any thoughts you would also like to leave us with?

Thank you Pete! Quite interesting interview and by far the longest I’ve ever accepted to respond to. Continue to spread our propaganda and keep fucking true to yourself. Blasphemy, fire, rebellion…This is just the beginning…

Buy our album at http://www.mykingdommusic.bigcartel.com !!!

Or order it directly from me at revelationshammer@gmail.com

Share our official album trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi7w3fv_WA8

Explore our revelation online:





Read the Revelation’s Hammer review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/revelations-hammer-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Revelation’s Hammer – Self Titled

Revelation's Hammer pic 1

It may have pure sonic venom coursing through its veins but there is something irresistibly inviting about the arts and crafts of the self –titled debut album from Norwegian metallers Revelation’s Hammer. Skilfully sculpted and ravenous in its hunger driven energy and invention, the release is wholly enthralling despite its spiteful air and offers certain reasons as to why the band is being talked of as the next big thing in Scandinavian black metal. Six tracks of compelling aural drama and rapacious antagonism, Revelation’s Hammer is an exhausting, thrilling confrontation.

Created by Accuser (vocals, strings, and concept) in 2007 for his musical ideas, the project was joined by drummer Bergh. His departure saw the recruitment of Myrvoll from Nidingr with the beginning of the creation of the album began January 2010. The recordings expanded over ten months due to several setbacks, with the album being mixed by Børge Finstad at infamous Toproom Studio (Mayhem, Borknagar), mastered by legendary Peter In de Betou (Watain, Dark Funeral), and additionally featuring a guest appearance from Exilis from Troll on some tracks. March of this year saw the Oslo based band sign with Italian dark metal label My Kingdom Music and as its seditious charms stalk the world one suspects the album will set Revelation’s Hammer to the fore of and ignite the current stance of black metal.

     Obsessed Onslaught slowly crawls before the ear to start things off, its yawning sonic stretch and melodic call soon swept within Revelation's Hammer coveran avalanche of destructive rhythms and equally ravenous riffs. As the intimidating guttural squalls of Accuser stare eye to eye with the listener and unleash their propaganda of malevolence, devious grooves strike out to seduce the senses whilst being still ravished by the vocal and lyrical grazing. It is a weapon the band and album uses frequently and persistently it persuades defences to relax allowing the annihilatory breath and intent of tracks to win their cause. Across its expansive length there is never time to catch breath before the next shift and evolution in direction and persuasion is ridden, that relentlessness only adding to the epic feel of the sound. As intriguing and eventful as it is barbaric, with blast beats pummelling the senses throughout and the excellently varied vocals holding a satanic compulsion in whatever guise they use, it is a striking and scintillating start.

The title track opens with another riveting grooved temptation before the vocals assault with a bedlamic hatred, their malice opening up the song for its corrosive and towering intensity to douse the senses in primal sonic filth. As its predecessor the track twists and flays within its invention, every corner of its course opening another rage of further blistering energy and captivating imagination. The savagery steps back as the climax approaches to allow its nightmare to unveil a sampled stark scenario before returning with a furnace of a finale which scorches ears and sears emotions.

The outstanding Den Blåøyde dances on the already wasted nerves and senses next, though its waltz is one of viciousness and sonic manipulation honed into a brutality which again across a varied gait has only full greed guiding its purpose. Within its immense appetite of violence the track has a web of melodic temptation and insidious beauty which secures honest ardour towards its just as threatening epic breath and virulently creative alchemy. The best moment of the album it offers all the evidence as to why the band is being harped over.

Both Buried as Filth and Avgudsdyrkelse continue to openly impress, the first seemingly bred from a warzone wasteland, sonic teasing skipping over its grave to offer further insanity whilst welcoming hostile futures crafted from the rhythmic maelstrom and riff loaded wall of intensity, The second of the two saunters in with a confrontational attitude and determined will to exploit all, which with further excellent senses examining rhythms from Myrvoll and the kaleidoscope of apocalyptic sonic enterprise from Accuser, it does with ease, senses and thoughts willing victims.

The thrash courting The Crown Of Malice which evolves into a blackened vat of serpentine degenerate toxicity you can taste on the lips, closes off the album with impressive and invigorating power. From start to finish the album only challenges and tests the listener but most of all rewards with one of the most striking and exhilarating genre debuts in a long time. Dare you face the Revelation’s Hammer?



RingMaster 05/06/2013

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Blynd: Punishment Unfolds

It seems extreme metal has saved its very best releases for the dying weeks of the year, the likes of Nidingr, Deus Otiosus, and Aeons each releasing colossal albums which are pushing limits, imagination, and most of all passions to immense heights. Adding their own titanic and inventive weight to the list if Cyprus metallers Blynd with their deeply impressive album Punishment Unfolds. Released though Pitch Black Records, the album is a fury of death, groove, and thrash metal which incites a riot in the heart and unbridled rapture in the senses and vice versa.

Formed in 2003, the Nicosia based quartet of bassist and vocalist Andreas, guitarists Dino and George, and drummer Alex, has slowly but firmly gathered a strong and ardent fanbase within a growing wash of acclaim through their impressive sound across firstly their duo of EPs and 2010 debut album The Enemy, as well as live performances alongside the likes of Sodom, Children Of Bodom, Rotting Christ, Sepultura, and Septic Flesh and a triumphant appearance at the 2012 Bloodstock Festival. Punishment Unfolds steps forward with all the aural armoury, sharp imagination, and aggressive intent to thrust Blynd to the top tier of extreme noise makers and bring a wider and hungrier recognition their way. Featuring guest appearances from Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and George Charalambous (Winter’s Verge), the album also sets up the full spark of anticipation for their part in the Creatures From the Black Abyss Tour 2012, alongside Cradle Of Filth, God Seed and Rotting Christ, starting November 27th.

The opening instrumental Divine Gathering gives no real warning of the storm to follow though the brewing symphonic grace and thrilling rise of intensity does offer an epic atmospheric feel and climactic confrontation as its grand arms expand to wrap firmly around the ear.  It soon makes way for the rampaging Arrival of the Gods with its gnawing riffs and caustic breath of squalling vocals and scarring sonics. The harsh rub fires up the senses as fully as the greedy urgency of the song leaves them breathless, whilst the impressive melodic scorching from the guitars is a feisty encounter which pushes the song to greater heights.

The immense start is left ‘floundering’ in the wake of As Punishment Unfolds, a track which steals top honours and takes the contagion of the album to its highest pinnacle. From a start of thumping incendiary drums against the serpentine vocal lesions, the song spawns a groove which incites the strongest infection and a brawling seduction of riffs and beats to ignite primal passion. The mesmeric swarming which overwhelms the ear is delicious whilst the interchanging intensity and energies just provoke insatiable lust for more. As with the previous song the guitars produce melodic flames to stretch the track excellently around the crushing framework of antagonistic rhythms and raptorial vocals.

Following tracks such as Never for the Fallen with its carnivorous riffs and sonic greed, the challenging and glorious The Chosen Few, and Convicted in the Devil’s Land, further the pleasure with stunning enterprise and power. The second of the three is a turbulent journey of abrasive invention and unpredictable breaks wrapped in magnetic melodic ingenuity and heart. It is a masterful soundscape which can only lead to a full and potent devotion to its explosive imagination. The last of the trio is an intimidating predator with impacting sinews and a rabid intensity to leave one cowering whilst loving every second of its muscular threat.

Right through to its end Punishment Unfolds is sensational, from the outstanding Sins to the Cross with a progressive groove as wanton as it is insidious, across the snarling yet heated and irresistible presences of The Final Resistance and Divine Conspiracy, through to the closing feast of invention that is Infinity Race, it transfixes, erodes, and thrills senses, thoughts, and heart with accomplished and inventive ease.

Blynd before Punishment Unfolds may have been an unknown underground force for a great many but with its release and impressive content, the amazing album is set to change that stature one suspects and hopes. It would be a deserved outcome for a greatly pleasing and stirring gift from the band.


RingMaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nidingr: Greatest Of Deceivers

Photo Haakon Hoseth

One of the most visceral bands has again stepped forward with a release which without much debate stands as one of the best extreme metal releases this year. Norwegian devastators Nidingr since forming seeds in 1992 has rarely if ever left senses intact from its full entrance three years later, their complex and enthralling creativity and destructive power a scarring and corruptive conquest providing only the fullest rewards, but new album Greatest Of Deceivers can be marked as possibly their finest hour to date. The release is a triumph of corrosive invention and erosive enterprise, a combination which ignites scorching fires of passion whilst exposing undiluted thoughts all within scourges of caustic energy and aggression to cage and accelerate those reactions. It is a masterful piece of venom marking Nidingr as one of the greatest exponents and deliverers of the darkest rabid shadows.

Consisting of present and past members of bands such as Mayhem, Gorgoroth, DHG (Dødheimsgard), 1349, and God Seed, the quintet from Horten has followed up 2010 release Wolf-Father with a release which continues the theme based on Enochian texts which cored debut album Sorrow Infinite and Darkness of 2005. As with that release Greatest of Deceivers evokes ten Enochian Æthyrs through its expansive and emotive soundscape for a record which searches before opening up dark corners and expressive emotive realms lyrically as potently as it does musically. The album is a release which unveils more texture and depth with each engagement, with the pleasure and coarse rewards only deepening upon every contact too.

Combining a furnace of black, death, and thrash metal, the line-up of band founder Teloch, Blargh and Estrella Grasa who joined the band in 2005, Øyvind Myrvoll who linked up in 2010, and Void, has created a vibrant yet insidious tempest of devastation across the album which lingers far after its departure, the openly contagious yet barbed grooves and riffs, as well as the synapse fusing melodic invention, a storm which triggers a memorable captivation as insistently infectious as it is mercilessly debilitating. Starting with the opening title track, the album seizes control and manipulates the listener with maniacal and insidious ‘charm’. The song from its first second tramples the ear under scything riffs and pummelling rhythms, an instant numbness at play for the caustic vocals and concisely picking melodic cuts from the guitars to unleash their immense creative intent. Across its rampaging and ravaging onslaught the track is unrelenting in accosting and rupturing the mind and emotions whilst adding a craft of imaginative and explosively creative sonic relief which leaves every atom greedy for more.

It is an impressive assault but in hindsight is revealed as a mere teaser to greater annihilatory beauty from tracks like All Crowns Fall, O Thou Empty God, and new single from the album Vim Patior. The first sears flesh and senses with a sonic cloud of abrasive spite with the rasping acid vocals as equally mordant whilst the second is a senses chewing violation of predatory riffs and prowling rhythms which dazzles inventive diversity and towering innovation. It is a track which has one hand on best track honours on the album though all songs offer plenty of arguments for that title, such as Vim Patior, the track an insatiable rub which scalds with pungent sonic rabidity to leave a pulsating soreness by its end on flesh through to thoughts.

Into its stride the album offers up the impressive punkish contagion Rags Upon A Beggar which hands over to the exceptional bruising of The Worm Is Crowned for a mighty aural twining, the latter of the pair a scathing hungry brute of a track with a touch as acidulous as it is a stunning exploration of devastating ideas. Beneath the torrential flames of noise and greedy intensity the vast well of creativity and imagination in song and album as a whole is breath taking and as mentioned something which offers a new taste with each return to the release.

Adding further great heights of excellence before its end with the likes of the swaggering Pure Pale Gold with its wicked intent openly soaking every note and the similarly mischievous closing track Dwellers In The Abyss, both with grooves and hooks which have a glaring malevolence to their seductive swing, Greatest of Deceivers is a staggering slab of extreme glory. Released via Indie Recordings, the album if not the the very best of the year is right in the frontline for many ‘awards’ and acclaim come the end of 2012 and beyond.


RingMaster 18/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Nunfuckritual – In Bondage To The Serpent

The reaction listening to In Bondage To The Serpent, the debut album from Nunfuckritual, is like the hypnotic appeal of road kill or some blood soaked devastation. A mesmeric grip takes hold as one looks and searches deep into the dark and mayhem, at times feeling uncomfortable and not sure if the experience is pleasurable within the dirge of sound and intent but still unable to turn away. As curiosity of dark things is undeniable the incessant creeping black metal filth from the album, is impossible to resist, it’s thick aural blood consuming the flesh. Whatever one’s individual response to In Bondage To The Serpent the resulting impression is marked and deep, just like the monstrous black depths of the black intense soundscapes within the album itself.

Nunfuckritual is the malignant creation of four men already with a renowned pedigree, the quartet of Teloch (Nidingr, Mayhem), Espen T. Hangård (Altaar), Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth) and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant) coming together to conjure up six tracks containing some of the darkest and malevolent expressive intrusions heard this year. The seeds of the band began in 2006 when guitarist Teloch and vocalist Hangård began writing together, the band fully formed three years later with the addition of bassist Lilker and Jonsson on drums. In Bondage To The Serpent is their recorded debut via French label Debemur Morti Productions and whether one takes to their blasphemous extreme black metal and unrelenting oppression they will not be able to forget or ignore the virulent energy that overwhelms the ear.  

The music and tracks within In Bondage To The Serpent follow a similar make up, slow dirges and senses filling down tones that without ever leaping into explosive devastation still immerse the ear and emotions in a harsh threatening and disturbing soundscape. From the  deathly drone of opener ‘Theotokos’ through to the closing title track the intent is single minded, the music on the whole single paced, and the release a constant black wash of intense and draining sounds. It is not easily accessible at times and though varied the songs and their parts drawn out, fitting the mood and emotive feel of the tracks and content. Often one feels the tracks that come in at around 7 to 8 minutes each, over stay their welcome making continued focus hard but on reflection a shortening or omission of parts would certainly diminish considerably the power and purpose of each piece.

Each song is carefully and tightly constructed and though the oppressive atmosphere and intensity disguises the varied elements, as well as the way the band extract every essence from their ideas before eventually bringing in more, with a closer attention the distinct diversity is there. The crumbling feel of  ‘Christokos’ with its nightmarish sense of collapse of emotion, being and life, and the despair soaked haunting tone of ‘Cursed Virgin, Pregnant Whore’ being the most impressive examples on the album.

Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen’ sees the guest vocals of Attila Csihar (Mayhem) and Ravn (1349) to raise extra intrigue but it is still the rasping menace of Hangård that gives the most effective and depth to the song. The track is like the whole release, hypnotically engaging verging on mesmeric though not always with an obvious reason why. The music and delivery is beyond fault as is the songwriting at the core but it tests the attention span and the listener’s energy to retain a focus the song deserves because of length and its incessant black dirge intent.

     In Bondage To The Serpent compared to most similar veined albums this year is a stronger and more consistent release and Nunfuckritual a band that engineers good anticipation for more from them ahead. It just falls short of being marked as a must have release, though it should be looked at, with its continuous thick drone veil preventing the impressive elements from shining through. Hard work and focus gives way to their discovery but how many ears want listening to music to seem like labour?

RingMaster 23/11/2011

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