GJENDOD - Gjendød (HELLTHRASHER Productions CD 2016)
I suppose that even if the days of greatest glory are long gone for Norwegian black metal scene, it’s still really special to see a band, especially new band, from there. This country has something in the air or water, I don’t know what that is, that it helps people compose some of the best black metal stuff. And I’m happy that the years when their scene became self-parody are also gone and that again we are excited to see some fantastic new names (sadly, hardly any of the old bands are still able to interest me with their newer albums, but that’s not a problem we’ll discuss here). Trondheim is one of these places, where the biggest attention goes to at the moment. And it’s truly deserved, seeing so many killer bands from this area and also seeing what Terratur Possessions does. And now Gjendød is another debuting act from this city, with their first demo recently released on CD by Hellthrasher Productions. Well, let’s check if Gjendød is as much worthy as some other bands from there.
I’m not gonna make any comparisons to other bands from Trondheim though. But I wanna say that what I like about Gjendød is that it sounds so traditional for Norwegian black metal. Definitely they managed to capture the right feeling of cold, grim and harsh sounding Norwegian black metal and we can say that this demo takes all the right ingredients from the classic recipes, without trying to sound sophisticated or avant-garde. For some it will be an advantage, for others it won’t. For me it definitely is. And I’m really happy that Norwegian black metal in its raw, classic vein still sounds so exciting and killer. With bands like Mare, OTOH, Celestial Bloodshed, Darvaza, Askeregn and now also with Gjendød we’re getting something refreshed. This is exactly how I feel about Gjendød demo. It’s harsh, quite fast and aggressive, vicious black metal malicious sound where every riff cuts your skin deep and the haunting atmosphere freezes blood. You’ll hear influences from the old bands such as Mayhem, Tsjuder, but also some newer acts – it doesn’t matter. The thing is that it has great atmosphere, the riffs are great and everything about the music is just great. And if you like when your harsh black metal sounds fast, then you’ll get it from Gjendød right from the first song. Actually the first three tracks are almost like a constant fast blast, very intense indeed. Surprisingly my personal favourite song is the last one, “Likdans”, with riffs, especially in the beginning of the song, that sound a lot like old Thorns.
I also need to say that the artwork for Gjendød demo is something that really puts them aside to almost everything that similar bands do. Instead of skulls, candles and ritualistic symbols, they (Gjendød) decided for this colorful “thing”, which I have no idea what it is. I don’t like this artwork, to be honest, but who cares… it looks weird and different.
Standout track: “Likdans”
Final rate: 70/100