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NortherN - Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule

Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 24 May 2018, 3:00 PM

One of the most interesting features of some Metal genres is their capacity to adapt to the new times. There are bands that changes with time, using modern tech to create new sound possibilities, and others who prefer to use the old ways. In the case of the last set, extreme Metal genres as Black Metal has a very good point on it. Of course that the “ugly aesthetics” on the sound from the 90’s still works today, and maybe “Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule”, from US band NORTHERN could be a fine example how things from those days still are useful.

Previously known as COLD NORTHERN VENGEANCE, the band focus their energy to create a Pagan/Heathen Black Metal way, using the old formulas, without the Folk elements that we can hear on actual bands. This aspect is worked on their melodies, and the old feeling from US Black Metal bands is presented here (as the use of grunted voices instead of shrieked screams). Although this crude form is not used frequently anymore, in their hands all work great, with very good atmospheres, and a heavy and bitter sound. And by the way: many musical elements from other Metal genres can be heard on their musical work as well. As my previous words made clear, they use the old and good “ugly sound” aspects, that crude and frozen tunes from the ancients. You’ll feel the same chill on your spines when you heard the classics albums from MAYHEM, BURZUM, DARKTHRONE and all those names of the 90s, but it’s not incomprehensible. You’ll understand the band, if you’re into Black Metal’s ways.

Songs as the long and filled with morbid/heathen melodies “Fall Into Winter” (very good guitars, indeed), the brutal insight of “A Wolf's Angle (Abraxas Trance)” (besides some darkened melodies arises in many moments, like those one you can find on “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”), the classic Epic Black Metal approach on “Woden’s Revenge”, and the oppressive rhythmic changes heard on “Exaltation from the Grave” are fine pieces of Black Metal for all those who knows the genre from a long time. And let me tell you: their version for “Spell of Destruction”, an old song from Norwegian BURZUM is really amazing (besides some antifas and politically correct fans will complain as hell for this song). Besides the name change, I must state that NORTHERN is a great band, and hope they’ll keep on fighting. And if you are a Black Metal fan that knows deeply the genre, “Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule” was made for you.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Reyn Til Runa
2. Fall Into Winter
3. A Wolf’s Angle (Abraxas Trance)
4. Alaskan Ice
5. Woden’s Revenge
6. Spell of Destruction (Burzum cover)
7. Live Free or Die
8. Exaltation from the Grave
9. Fall Into Winter (Neofolk version)
No Known Line-Up
Record Label: Moribund Records


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