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Plage - Den Kristne Stank Award winner

Den Kristne Stank
by Danny Sanderson at 17 June 2015, 3:06 PM

Scandinavia and Germany have a very strong presence and legacy within the worldwide Black Metal scene. These are two areas that have produced some of the most memorable and interesting Black Metal acts on the planet. So when you get a band made up of members of both nations, you know you're in for something great.

Opener "En Hedensk Kriger", with its incredibly atmospheric intro, works very well, and the raw, straight forward, sepulchral Black Metal we're treated to sounds so good. This is a very mid-paced track, with thick riffs and authoritative drumming, all topped by some incredibly cold and fierce sounding vocals. The chanted backing vocals that are used sound amazing, as do chanter vocal parts in pretty much every Black Metal song that is clever enough to utilise them. As the pace quickens and the guitar lines get more interesting, it's clear that this is going to become something monstrous and dark. When the song hits its pique in the final moments, we get some blisteringly fast, grim guitar work that sounds perfect. It's an excellent start to what is clearly going to be a great album. The following track, "Your God Falls", again starts out at a more measured pace, with cool, Punk-esque drum sections. It gains speed and aggression, and becomes a solid piece of music that commands your attention. It's over before the listener realises, and leaves you wanting to hear more of this brand of raw, vicious Black Metal. "Chained By Flesh" builds on the strengths of the first two songs, with a punishing drum beat opening the track, and some well thought out guitar parts. All these elements eventually blend together and create a palpable cacophony of bestial noise that it's very hard to not appreciate. The album’s fourth offering, "I Am Death", is very short but oh so very sweet. At just shy of three minutes, it's an unrelenting, frosty juggernaut that sounds absolutely huge. From the bitter croak of the vocals, to the blasting drums, through to the razor sharp and catchy guitar lines, this stands as one of this records stand out tracks. Likewise, "Den Kannibalske Haerskare" doesn't stick around for long, yet manages to leave a strong and lasting impression on the listener. It bursts out of the speakers, and doesn't slow down for a second throughout, at points sounding completely chaotic. The album’s titular track, Den Kristne Stank", is another belting track with plenty of great musicianship and hooks. It seems to ebb and flow between fast and slow, the outright gnarly, violent parts through to the more measured, mid-paced sections. It's a little bit mesmerising at points, which makes this track all the more exciting to listen to. There are also some very nice lead guitar parts that really help finish the track off nicely. The penultimate track, "Ihjelslar", is another much slower affair, with demonic vocals and slow, dirge-like riffs, which become much more powerful and speed-driven later into the track. It's a good way to bring this album to a head. "Himlens til Blods", the album’s closing track, is one last attempt to bombard you with blistering, Black Metal fury. It's a very good way to bring this excellent album to a close.

This is an extremely good debut album from an extremely good band. If you like your Black Metal raw and ferocious, this is an album, and indeed a band, that you should be listening to. It's got all the classic sounds and styles of the genre, but maintains its own distinct sound at the same time. Hopefully this band will be able to gain some recognition and acclaim off the back of this record, because it's thoroughly deserved.

4 Star Rating

1. En Hedensk Kriger
2. Your Gods Fall
3. Chained By Flesh
4. I Am Death
5. Den Kannibalske Haerskare
6. Den Kristne Stank
7. Ihjelslar
8. Himlen til Blods
Zorn - Bass
Blizzard - Drums
Exord - Guitars
Vrede - Vocals
Record Label: Alusia Productions


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