Originally written by Drew Ailes
This is exactly what I’ve wanted. Incredibly hard and barbaric black metal, produced accordingly without having some sort of huge bombastic sound, and Norway’s Tsjuder brings it. Everything about Desert Northern Hell is forceful and stimulating, although all they’re doing is giving their take on a widely known and respected style and combining it with touches of thrash metal akin to Venom.
The harsh guitars shred at break-neck speeds; their biting tone displaying an unusual sense of melody. It’s outlandish, but not inaccessible. Everything’s sectioned off through abrupt tempo changes and different guitarwork, although it doesn’t come across as feeling stiff or overly organized. Ranging from blisteringly fast blastbeats to a controlled medium tempo, the drumming is precise and ferocious. “Ghoul” is a savage track which begins with an overwhelming sense of anxiety before moving to an abnormally melodic passage. The song spontaneously and seamlessly progresses into a galloping thrash, then breaks for a chaotic solo. “Mouth of Madness” sort of begins with very standard rock beat, and once the guitars enter I feel like I’m being prepared for a Danzig song. While pretty far from what I expected, it’s still slow with an atypical sludgy feel. Maybe a bit reminiscent of a slower Dismember song with black metal vocals prior to it’s transformation into a hint of time-honored thrash. In spite of the song’s slower leanings towards the beginning, Tsjuder seem to be unable to control themselves in how fast they play, as they inevitably burst back into their trademark intensity. The album ends with “Morbid Lust”, an 11:18 track that provides a cold and dark ringing black/thrash to summarize everything.
All this and a cover of Bathory’s “Sacrifice” that I can’t stop listening to.
To anyone that’s felt sort of embittered with recent black metal outputs, I demand you to pick up a copy of Desert Northern Hell. Tsjuder are giving everyone a run for their money. It is unquestionably a kick in the ass to all extreme acts out there and will hopefully push the forerunners of the genre even further. Don’t let this one slip by undetected.