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Ulvehyrde – Englemakersken

by Alex Barnard at 23 July 2021, 2:55 PM

ULVEHYRDE is a Norwegian Black Metal band expanding on the sound pioneered by their fellow countrymen. “Englemakersken” is the group’s debut, released by the Italian label Dusktone Records on April 16, 2021.

This album is as old school as it gets, with the sole exception being the absolutely stellar production. Sorath Northgrove’s all-Norwegian lyrics and raspy delivery belies hints of influences from IMMORTAL’s Abbath Doom Occulta. Noctum and Straff exchange ambient, melodic guitar lines flawlessly like Mick Barr and Colin Marston of KRALLICE. Lastly, Judikator’s drumming rivals the thunderous blast-beats of MAYHEM’s Hellhammer while brilliantly complimenting Uvel’s gritty, booming basslines.

This album is not just a bunch blast-beats and tremolo-picking, however. Tracks like “Likbålet” and “Svartbækken” show the band’s ability to slow down and still remain true to their Black Metal roots. Others, like the title track and “Disippelen,” demonstrate a mastery of mid-paced madness, giving off an almost Groove Metal thump to the blackened haze. Thus, if anything, ULVEHYRDE seem to be taking most of their musical cues from acts like BURZUM and GORGOROTH rather than DARKTHRONE and EMPEROR – a focus on ambience rather than speed.

One of the highlights from this album includes “Dødsuret,” which is Norwegian for “the clock of death.” The doomy, slow and dissonant chords compliment the horrifying atmosphere that embody Northgrove’s bloodcurdling vocal delivery. “Skarpretteren” is another brilliant moment, with its thrash-like riffs and undulating bassline from Uvel. “Jarlen,” the album’s lead single, is a thunderous album-opener, demonstrating the group’s command over the old school Norwegian Black Metal sound. Moreover, Judikator’s use of a military beat during the second half of the song is a superb addition, giving a slight touch of order to the musical chaos. Finally, “Diabolisten,” has a real headbanger of an opening riff, again bringing back doomy influences to the group’s dark sound.

Overall, this debut is solid. Clearly, the members of ULVEHYRDE are well-studied disciples of the Norwegian Black Metal sound. It interests me just how much of an influence Doom Metal seemed to have on the music on this album as well, however. Maybe ULVEHYRDE could lean into those influences a little more on future works while retaining their overall blackened sound, as the little hints of a combination of the two influences on this album certainly tickled my eardrums.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Production: 7
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Jarlen
2. Disippelen
3. Likbålet
4. Englemakersken
5. Dødsuret
6. Skarpretteren
7. Diabolisten
8. Svartbækken
Uvel – Bass
Judikator – Drums
Noctum – Guitars
Straff – Guitars
Sorath Northgrove – Vocals
Record Label: Dusktone


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