Nattverd – “Vandring” (Osmose Productions)
Battle Helm Rating
Screaming frostbitten black metal from the Vestland hells of Norway! Formed back in the 90s but delayed until 2014 due to uncontrollable circumstances (!), Nattverd have made up for lost ground in the last few years, here returning with their 3rd full length release which is also the final instalment of a Black Death trilogy that started with 2019’s EP “Skuggen” and then was followed up by sophomore “Styggdom” last year. Bringing in Anti Christian (Beaten to Death, Doedsvangr, Grimfist, ex-The Cumshots, ex-Tyrann, Anton Ruud i Terapi, Gothminister, Inglow, ex-Jorn, ex-Sturmgeist, ex-Tsjuder, ex-Umoral, ex-Black Comedy, ex-Big Muff 68, ex-Caliban Allstars, ex-Kion, ex-Krohn & Co, ex-The Caliban Sessions, ex-The Dogs) on drums, the line-up has (re)expanded to a 5 piece with the vocals shared between Serpentr (also handling guitar) and co-founder Ormr. Despite the complexities, it’s all come together for Nattverd on this 3rd release, with nothing held back in the excellent performances on the 8 tracks that mix epic Nordic brutality and icy atmospherics certified authentic in Bergen! Blasting in with blizzard like ferocity on the opener ‘Det Bloer Paa Alt Som Spirer’, the banshee screamo and demonic rantings work a treat alongside the fast, intricate melodic scalings of the aforementioned Serpentr and co-founder guitarist Atyr in bringing darkness and decadence unleashed as Anti Christian more than lives up to his name through his utterly possessed bestial drumming. As the thick monotone riffs collide with machine gunning double bass heads and cymbal overload on ‘Martyrer Av Kristus’, the groove is beyond catchiness as it immediately meat hooks you in while the haunting screamo induces instant possession, and thanks to the sliding black ‘n’ roll passage mid song, the performance proves that Nattverd’s talent has no boundaries to its evil! Spewing with malevolence from the outset, ‘I Moerket Slumrer Ravnen’ is yet another example of this band’s excellent composing as chundering waves of dark energy are belched out by the guitars and once again the diverse vocal styles of depraved chantings and demonic screamo combine with Anti Christian superb power and precision percussion to really elevate the appeal of the song through the quality inherent in its catchiness. A spectacular ending to Nattverd’s unholy trilogy, it remains to be seen where the band go from here, but one thing is certain in their legacy that “Vandring” is a classic release on a classic label!