By now it’s fairly obvious that I have a soft spot for 90′s Swedish black metal/death metal. Especially the more melodic versions. While Sweden does have a tremendous wealth of incredible bands that fall into that description, they also have other kinds of black metal bands that go against the grain of the more established Swedish sound. That brings us to Nåstrond.
Nåstrond, whose name is Old Icelandic for “shore of corpses,” which is fucking rad already, take a more sinister approach to their black metal. Not to say there isn’t melody here but the band sort of askew the more prevalent Swedish melodic approach for a more evil, possessed, horror kind of darkness sound. There’s a sense of atmospherics going on, a sort of Hammer Films type of fog covered graveyards in the moonlight combined with a sinister ritual vibe, which could be programmed or could be a result of the lower quality production. It’s all brought together by the horrifyingly evil and menacing vocals by vocalist Karl NE. He torturously rasps through the whole album and is really, in my opinion, the high point of the album. The musicianship is top notch as well with some awe-inspiring, speedy and ingenious riffing.
Even in a sub, sub, sub genre of music, there are albums that go under appreciated. This album is one of them and I’m glad to have made it’s acquaintance.