Review by Maciek on March 24, 2020.
Seems like all things are good with black/death metal in Norway. We have The Konsortium, who keep the lead amongst the bands I like the most from this subgenre and it seems this year we have a fantastic album from Vredehammer. I have to admit that listening to their previous albums is my homework for now, so apologies, no references to their previous stuff here. Generally, we have a mixture of black metal and death metal. The death metal parts remind me more of something between Hate Eternal and Zyklon, but Vredehammer managed to present it in way more catchy way.
First of all, we have very unusual keyboards here, resembling some 90s electronic music. Basically, I am not a huge fan of the electronic parts used here apart from one single track - 'From a Spark to a Withering Flame'. This one track shows how these keyboards should have been used in all other tracks. Regarding the rest of the instruments - we have a really good feast here. The drumming done by Kei Speidel is just flawless, it's got everything, it's got speed, it's got good sounding base drums and all kinds of good blasts to do some headbanging. The riffs are also very varied, we can hear a variety of styles, very fast ones in the style of Keep of Kalessin (or at least that's the first band which came to my mind with these ultra-fast riffs with fast drumming), like 'Universal Core', or some slower death/black riffs that I would compare to Swedish Necrophobic, but like I said - Hate Eternal and Zyklon also come to mind very often. My favourite parts are obviously where you can hear those echoes of Ved Buens Ende or Thorns or The Konsortium mentioned before. Vocals are closer to death metal though, most of the time reaching the lower registers, not black metal shrieks. Only on some occasions we have something closer to Posthum vocalist.
This album is definitely not boring, we were even given some solos for our entertainment. Not many, if you ask me, could be a few more to be honest. The tempos change quite frequently, and the whole album is really easy to listen in one go. Although to get all the flavors I would recommend few good listens.
To sum up - guitarwork, vocals, drums - fantastic. Keyboards need to move somewhere past The Gathering's "Always" album. Last track shows potential that it might become more interesting mixture of electronic elements in their music. Obviously that's only my opinion and if you are a fan of these sounds - this album is a perfect 10 for you. And I hope we can hear some more solos on future releases. Oh, by the way - art on this album has been done by Carl from Diabolical.
Rating: 8 out of 10162