Rutthna - _Doomsdaylight_
(Black Lodge, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
Considering my usual preference for speed and aggression over slow and doomy when it comes to black metal, _Doomsdaylight_ is surprising in that it is wholly more enjoyable when the band are keeping their infernal racket down to a mid-paced grind, rather than all-out blasting. Thankfully then, the former is the common denominator for the majority of the record's running time, allowing the subtle swathes of keyboards to breathe over the dense fuzz of the band's grim riffing. What is subsequently most appealing about Rutthna is the band's ability to conjure up a truly chilling and dark atmosphere, recalling black metal's vintage years where these things could be done without the need to resort to sixty-piece orchestras. The apocalyptic "Bleed Your Wounds", for example, starts off delicately with a lone piano line leading into a lingering guitar melody, which in turn crashes into a brutal crescendo that ranks among the likes of Hate Forest and Krieg as some of the nastiest, most absorbing black metal this side of _Transylvanian Hunger_. Not that I'd go so far as to label this duo "the next Darkthrone" however -- they're too melodic for one, and to achieve such acclaim they'd almost certainly have to veer away from sequences like the rather tired opening to "Season of Huge Mortality". But to even consider such a comparison is a huge compliment in itself, and a testament to the potential displayed on this record.


(article published 20/8/2005)

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