Ulvehunger - Official Website


Retaliation

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

1. Desecrator
2. Sacrifice
3. Leave Them In Disgrace
4. Consumed By Hate
5. Castle Of Blood
6. Forces Of Doom
7. Declaration Of War
8. Rise From The Shadows
9. The Mighty Pentagram
10. Covenant Of Pestilence



Review by Jeger on July 4, 2024.

Norwegian black metal: Darkthrone, Satyricon, Gorgoroth and Emperor - just a few of the BM heavyweights who call Norge home. Venture a bit deeper into hallowed scene soil and you’ll discover the truest Norwegian black metal as created by heritage and country-honoring projects such as Taake and Kampfar. All bands you think of whenever someone mentions Norwegian black metal, but what if I told you there was something out there a little deadlier, sexier even? Like the blackened gloss of a freshly glazed engine running smooth, loose and clean; propelling your blackened soul through death-laden pathways toward a cataclysmic future for Norwegian blackened metal. Strap yourself into retaliation’s pillion now and kickstart the motor, because Ulvehunger have arrived… 

Norway’s Ulvehunger - the latest and probably the most brutal project to have ever had one Frost’s (Satyricon, 1349) contribution. Death Black! And comprised of all things cutting edge from quality in product to dynamic range is Ulvehunger’s long-awaited debut Retaliation LP, unleashed on May 31st, 2024 via the maledictive Darkness Shall Rise Productions. 

With RetaliationUlvehunger cut through the bullshit and deliver the evil: blackened vocals, chopping riffs and just an overall end of days Vader and Possessed type of atmosphere as conveyed throughout the entirety of the recording. Smooth and appealing like Damascus steel are album cuts like the opener, 'Desecrator' and the following track, 'Sacrifice', as each number unfolds to the momentum of blast-beats, rolling double-bass currents, striking leads and merciless onslaughts of tempestuous riffing incursions. No dry buzz, no recorded in an abandoned basement vibes and no Burzum worship. Retaliation is for the contemporary black metal enthusiast who understands that some BM is deserving of all the luxurious sonic trim. This isn’t “A Blaze In the Northern Sky” we’re talking here, and I can imagine Ulvehunger being quite the welcomed change of pace for all genre-crossing veterans involved. 

A classically lain out work of old-school proportions as far as track arrangement and runtime; ten cuts clocking in at about four minutes in duration a piece except for the closing track, 'Covenant Of Pestilence', that properly plays out a bit longer. Ear candy melodic passages, ethereal leads and gritty black & roll swagger to define 'Castles Of Blood' in all of its classic Satyricon/Immortal-worshipping glory. Much to take in from start to finish as each track unfurls passage after captivating passage set to a variety of traditional sounds from the aforementioned black & roll vibes to some straight up death metal peppered in here and there and even a little thrash-happy riffage, particularly during the opening minutes to 'Forces Of Doom'

Not sure what these guys were aiming for here outside of putting together a record that’s just too big for black metal alone. Unbridled death worship through and through but not without a taste of the diabolical as well. 'The Mighty Pentagram' like some old-school Blasphemy - sick and grimy - brutality incarnate with a touch of Entombed - “Wolverine Blues” level groove. I mentioned Frost is a member of this band, right? His talents are matched, unlike his other ventures where it just feels like he’s having to dumb it down a bit (clears throat, Satyricon!). Like a well-oiled machine with each component serving the next and fluid like a piston is each brilliant passage - powerful but without the inertia of conventional blackened death metal i.e., Belphegor, Behemoth and Hate. Contemporary Norwegian brutality that tantalizes all your black metal sweet spots, all the while as you’re reminded of why you got into death metal in the first place. A very strong debut. 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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