TSJUDER – Throne of the Goat
Rarely if ever have Norwegian black metal stalwarts Tsjuder let yours truly down. Their icy and sinister take on raw and pummeling black metal has been sharpened and honed to perfection over the years and 2015’s “Antiliv” proved a high point in these ugly fuckers’ career. This 8-track effort, which is scheduled for release in June this year, is an interesting one in that it contains the original 1997 EP entitled “Throne of the Goat” and then a complete re-recording of said EP, hence the total of eight tracks. In that sense, there is nothing essential about this one as such unless one is a fan of the band, but that does not mean that it is not without its merits.
The re-recorded versions of the title track and “Dying Spirit” are as vicious, aggressive, and menacing as they come, and the musicianship is stellar all around. Nag’s vocals totally slay here while AntiChristian’s drumming is simply superb. On top of that, the utterly powerful production is all-out crushing and the blackened atmosphere of the 2017 renditions of the track leave very little to be desired in terms of filth and fury. Granted, they are neither the most inventive nor clever written tunes out there, but they are certainly memorable and pack a punch.
The original EP is…well, it is a cool thing to get one’s hands on it, at least from a fan’s perspective, and its unfiltered, raw, and bleak mood is worth applauding. There are better and more interesting lo-fi black metal demos out there than this one, but the melodies are strong and as with the 2017 versions, the songs themselves are catchy. If you are sucker for muffled and grainy demos recorded way back in the day then the 1997 EP might be right up your alley.
One final thing, the cover artwork is a thing of wicked beauty and I dare say that the vinyl version of this one is going to look killer.