Review Summary: They are the tongue to drip the venom.
In 1989, Norwegian guitarists Snorre Ruch and Marius Vold formed a black metal band, Stigma Diabolicum. With the addition of drummer Bard Eithun and bassist Harald Eilertsen, the band name changed to Thorns and both guitarists recorded in 1991 a six track demo with bass and guitars only, in order to initiate the newly recruited rhythm section. Grymyrk
1991 demo along with Trøndertun
rehearsal tape in 1992, influenced the second wave of Norwegian black metal irrevocably. Snorre Ruch became a respected figure among the Norwegian black metal circuit and contributed as a full member to the recording sessions of Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
In 2001, the planets were finally aligned and Thorns released their eponymous full-length, a pinnacle for the so-called “intelligent” black metal, with Snorre Ruch exchanging know-how with his contemporaries from Mayhem, Dodheimsgard and Satyricon. From that point further, there was complete silence on behalf of Ruch. To the utmost discontent of all those who worshipped Thorns
, a follow-up album has yet to appear, while it is uncertain as to Ruch being a sheer perfectionist during composition or just plain “lazy”. Despite its undisputed quality, the material included in Thorns
was little in quantity in order to quench the fan thirst for more in the same respect, thus the 2008 release of Fuck Humanity With Pride
EP from the Greek black metal act of Angstridden, was heralded as a short-lived rain in the middle of the European “intelligent” black metal desert.
In so many words, Fuck Humanity With Pride
EP could rightfully be incorporated in Thorns
and absolutely no negative fluctuation in style or quality would be evidenced. This similarity in style is nothing short of a shameless tribute to Ruch’s musical vision translated for the 21st century. However, Angstridden sound utterly convincing from start to finish, to the point where someone who is not aware of their primary influence, may think that it is these Greek mobsters who first conceived the things they play on the EP. The drumming of Marios is top notch all the way through and easily matches Hellhammer’s work with Thorns and Mayhem. His ferocious blast beats co-exist with dense, double bass driven, drumming fills and marches, whereas their groove can be devastating on occasion (listen to the awesome middle break in “The Foul Taste of Humanity” and the doom-like “Subsonic Society”). The discordant, disharmonic, formless riffing of guitarist known as “Lord Of The Swamp” is as intense as Snorre’s work in Thorns
, to the level of inducing irreversible tendonitis in both arms. Just as in the eponymous Thorns album, Killing Technology
-era Voivod is mutated according to the Norwegian black metal ethic and jointly entwined with the vapour-like riffs of “ancient” Thorns (demo tapes) or Ved Buens Ende (Written In Waters
). On the other hand, the instrumental assault of Fuck Humanity With Pride
would be incomplete without an equally vitriolic verbal manifesto and vocalist El – a perfect amalgamation of Satyr (Satyricon) and Aldrahn (Dodheimsgard) – is spitting his cynical narrations with reference to the total failure of the human species, with immense intensity.
As an epilogue, this band and EP should not be taken lightly by black metal fans. Angstridden appear to excel in a realm of black metal which seems to have been forsaken by the acts which initially contributed in establishing it. Although "all" this EP does is to capture Angstridden in convincingly emulating the musical universe of their idols, a great surprise should be anticipated from their camp, as the next step for those who successfully emulate a certain part of the known universe is to reveal a previously hidden part of it and leave their own mark in the process.