MUSPELLZHEIMR - Nidhöggr CD
The second album by the Danish black metal band Muspellzheimr. No band members are identified, and no names are granted to the song titles either. And the mysteries of Muspellzheimr don’t end there. Indeed, an atmosphere of frightening mystery cloaks all the tracks, as does a thick, abrading coating of distortion (yet not so distorted as to obscure the pulse of the bass or soften the blows of the drums, both of which seem to land inside the chest cavity). Nevertheless, the tracks don’t follow a uniform path, even within the confines of their own individual duration. They are sometimes stately, sometimes lurching, and mainly volcanically chaotic and crazed. The voices range from ear-liquefying shrieks to soaring clean vocals. Yet the eerie resonance of the melodies gives everything an unearthly feeling, as if demonic forces have been given a free hand, to cavort and feed on any semblance of human happiness, and to raise their horrid voices in praise of death.
You’ll have a hard time finding anything more raw and terrifying than these sounds, and yet the music somehow also achieves a mythic quality, with soaring tones that ring like chimes, leads that slither like gleaming serpents through the maelstroms, and grand ambient fanfares that, taken altogether, make the album sound like a war between heaven and hell. (No Clean Singing)