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Brotthogg – Epicinium Award winner

Brotthogg
Epicinium
by Kris Marsden at 08 December 2022, 2:45 PM

Brottogg are back! This Norwegian Melodic Black/Death/Thrash band are back with their third full-length release, "Epicinium", following the critically acclaimed releases "Echoes of the Past", released back in 2019 and "The Die is Cast" in 2020.

The first track I want to discuss is "Vengeance". The third song on the record opens with a dynamic display of deathly blackened and thrashing of the guitar with sweeping dark melodies, where the vocals alternated between aggressive screams/snarls and shouty screams, following suit with an all-out attack of high-speed staccato riffing/fretboard shredding and batting strikes of the drums.

The next track I would like to talk about is the fourth track, "Ravn", which takes more of an aggressive vibe with a dark melodic display of the Swedish act "Dissection" with an excellent virtuoso solo cutting in the song, which is provided by "Stephen Carlson" of Swedish heavy metal act "Flames Of Fire". There are two pieces worth the mention; one is the fifth track, "Ved skumringens ytterste rand", roughly translated as "At dusk's outermost rim", which opens with a brief dark introductory instrumental, following suit with a serge of aggression and frigid atmosphere of black metal snarls and aggressive vocals. When hitting the three-minute mark, the music transits to a strange atmosphere soundscape, awesome fretboard riffage and agonising singing with this feeling that all hope is lost. While the sixth track, "Epicinium", pushes the guitar and drum work with its fast pace of surge, topped with dark melodies, fretboard shredding and aggressive vocal work.

Simultaneously, for me, this is not an ordinary band. Due to the duet of vocal work of "Jonas Moen" and "Craig Furunes", which consists of rough growls/snarls and shouty screams, while "Kristian Moen" handles all the instruments consisting of slow and melancholic or heavy atmosphere sections, instrumental work includes rhythmic beats of the drums, the guitar work utilises high-speed staccato riffing/dark melodies, massive and intense harmonies and solo's provided by "Stephen Carlson."

"Brotthogg", in my opinion, is a full-length with a lot to offer, "Epicinium" presents a slice of extreme metal cake made up of everything else above and ingredients of melodic death metal, barb-wire riffage of thrash, lace with dark and gloomy melodies. In contrast, the icing on the cake is an excellent raw frigid atmosphere of black metal. The artwork is a talk about the painting, looks like something taken from the game "Darksiders", and fits in well with the band's inked lyrical themes of Misanthropy, Dante, and Philosophy. This eye-catcher artwork has this dark, ominous figure with a scythe and sword, riding a unicorn and lion hybrid, while the foreground is like heaven & hell – but it's the Inpaled Angles, talk about Vlad the Impaler vibe (again, the hatred of humanity).

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9




4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. When the Curtain Falls
2. Forvitring
3. Vengeance
4. Ravn
5. Ved skumringens ytterste rand
6. Epicinium
7. Possessed
Lineup:
Craig Furunes - Vocals
Jonas Moen - Vocals
Kristian Larsen Moen - All Instruments
Stephen Carlson - All Guitar Solos (Guest)
Record Label: Independent
     


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