Gaahlskagg / Stormfront - _Split MCD_
(No Colours, 1999)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
Germany's pillar of the underground No Colours Records seem to be spewing out releases faster than Marilyn Manson changes costumes, and with this split MCD clocking in at a meager 18:31 minutes, it's no surprise. Briefness aside, both Norwegian hordes put up a rather impressive showing. Opening with a typically superfluous intro, Gaahlskagg waste no time crashing into "Skullfuck", a pummelling attack not unlike Zyklon B's brand of fury. Happily for them (and us), Gaahlskagg's material possesses a "groove" reminiscent of the Swedish War, elevating it above Zyklon B's often dull mess. Gaahl's unearthly shrieks won't disappoint those familiar with his work with Gorgoroth and Trelldom. News is that a new album is due out in the Summer. Dark horses Stormfront opt for a somewhat mellower approach, and one could swear the two tracks here came right off Dimmu Borgir's _For All Tid_ sessions. Old-timers lamenting the rapid degeneration of Dimmu Borgir into mainstream pap will no doubt salivate at the sound of "Styggmyr's Triumpf" and "Trolltog...", two superbly melancholic dirges so evocative of the early '90s. Black metal has never needed to be strongly produced, nor brutally delivered, and Stormfront have proven beyond doubt the effectiveness of obscure, atmospheric pieces of a quality last heard on _For All Tid_. This is some of the greatest and most obscure black metal this maniac has heard in ages, and all those true worshippers of old-style black metal are urged to get their hands on this album, if only for the two Stormfront tracks. Perhaps a tape trade would be more in order, until more substantial releases appear.

Contact: NCR, Postfach 32, 04541 Borna, Germany (price: $14)

(article published 25/5/2000)


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