Tsjuder – Legion Helvete (Season of Mist Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Assuredly the last terrific album of 2011, Legion Helvete, the fourth full length from Norwegian black metal contenders Tsjuder is a breath of fresh air. Not that 2011 was lousy or lackluster (it was anything but), but the past two or so months of the year grew a bit stagnant. There wasn’t much superb material coming out anywhere near as much as the first nine months of the year, and it seemed like 2011 would end with sort of a burning out and not a bang.

Luckily for anybody who enjoys good metal – black metal in particular – Tsjuder came along at precisely the right moment.

Legion Helvete is a swirling mix of neo Scandinavian black metal and old school ‘80’s thrash in the vein of Kreator and Sodom. Much like German counterparts Unlight, Tsjuder’s violent take on thrashy black metal is of the highest quality. The production is clean, though still retains quite a bit of that ragged, raw sound that metal albums need. All the instruments, from the guitars to the bass to the drums to the vocals, are mixed almost perfectly. And considering there is enough going on in each song to keep things fresh yet not too much going on where the music becomes murky, the production has to be able to harness the power of each of the band’s three members.

There isn’t a weak song in the entire bunch, but the standout track is without question “Voldsherskeren.” A shattered though intertwined masterpiece of deft riffing, thunderous drums and a monster of a hook midway through, it’s the singular track on the release that will undoubtedly be repeated over and over.

In all, Legion Helvete is an excellent album that will please anybody who is fond of the blacker side of metal. Nothing on the album is something that hasn’t been done many a time, but Tsjuder’s take on this genre of extreme metal is honest and creative. And for a band just reforming a few years ago and creating their first full length in seven years, it’s as though the Norse trio never missed a beat. In fact, they’ve gotten better.

www.tsjuder.com/

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)