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Brotthogg - Echoes from the Past

Echoes from the Past
by Damian Smith at 01 October 2019, 4:50 PM

On their debut record, “Echoes From the Past,” BROTTHOGG, who hail from the Norwegian city of Trondheim, have taken the genre of Black Metal made infamous by their countrymen, and added elements of Speed Metal, Thrash, and even Technical Death Metal. The result is a diverse, and mechanically precise concoction that is teeming with metronome breaking drumming, and riffing that calls to mind everything from DISSECTION, and EMPEROR, to SYMPHONY X, and OBSCURA.

BROTTHOGG make it clear from the get go that they aren’t interested in easing you into this album. Rather, “The Summoning” kicks the damn door right off its hinges. The guitar playing on this track is razor sharp, and syncs up nice and tight with the drums. As a guitar player, listening to Kristian Larsen Moen seer his way through this thing made my wrists ache. What makes his performance all the more impressive is that his duties don’t stop at just the guitars; in fact, he handles all of the instruments on the entire record! Interestingly enough, there are two, lead vocalists in the band, as well. Both Craig Furunes, and Jonas Moen are able to put their own, unique stamp on the music, and their voices work tremendously well in tandem.

While “The Summoning” might have just kicked your door in, and set a fire in your living room, the pace does settle down a bit on songs like “Northland,” and perhaps my favorite, “The Aftermath," which goes for a slower, more dissonant, and pure Black Metal approach. These songs definitely help to break things up a bit, and offer a welcome breather from the speed and technicality found throughout. In fact, my only real gripe is that there aren’t more stand-out songs like this, as the constant blitzkrieg pace of this album does start to feel a little repetitive at times.

The production on “Echoes From the Past” is air tight. Each instrument is clear, and audible, and punchy. The guitar tone doesn’t suffer from being too thin, as I’ve sometimes found with records like this. And, as I mentioned before, the use of two vocalists, with different styles really adds a whole other dynamic to the music. For how flashy the performances are at times, it’s really a vicious sounding album.

BROTTHOGG are still relatively early into their careers, having only formed in 2017. But, what they’ve crafted here shows limitless potential. They’ve set the bar high for themselves in terms of musicality, but if they can keep refining their songwriting, then I think this will be a band to keep an eye on!

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  8
Memorability: 8
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

1. The Summoning
2. Northland
3. The Descent
4. The Aftermath
5. Broken Chains
6. The Last Traveler
7. Total Death
Kristian Larsen Moen – All Instruments
Stephen Carlson - Lead Guitars
Craig Furunes – Vocals
Jonas Moen – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 February 2023

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