The High Heat Licks Against Heaven
The last time these guys released an album was five years ago. The last time NIDINGR passed by in my playlist was last week and it had nothing to do with this review. This Norwegian band put out their fourth album after "Sorrow Infinite And Darkness" in 2005, "Wolf-Father" in 2010 and the excellent "Greatest Of Deceivers" in 2012. Also two demos got released, "Rehearsal 1996" in 1996 and "Demo '99" in 1999. Various tracks including their 1996 demo were later featured on the "Sodomize The Priest" compilation from 2006. The band was formed as AUDR in 1992, being a solo project of guitarist Teloch. He recorded one demo, before guitaris / bassplayer Blargh joined and they changed their name to NIDINGR, which means 'scoundrel, a person of hatred and sin' in old Norwegian language. Drummer Tony Laureano used to be ranked for a short period of time. People unfamiliar with their style could expect a intense and blasting style like DØDHEIMSGARD and SATYRICON ("Rebel Extravaganza"). At times the throttle gets pushed back which gives the music an injection of MORBID ANGEL heaviness. Even further slowed down gives it room for a surprisingly progressive side of the band. On "Wolf-Father" this was noticeable in the great 'Baldrs Draumar'. On "Greatest Of Deceivers", which relinquished from their Black Metal roots, this resulted in an amazing song like 'O Thou Empty God’. It's pure beauty! Instead of soft it feels self-confident and natural and invokes power, deeply rooted in the Norwegian identity. Expect no folkish or warrior tunes, but something more mature. On "The High Heat Licks Against Heaven" this is worked out further and together with a clear and heavy production is shown what talent these guys have. One of NIDINGR's trademarks are the vocals of Cpt. Estrella Grasa. No high pitch or growl but a more natural and anrgy way of singing. Something you expect in Thrash Metal or even Stoner bands and it works perfect here! Mostly raw but sometimes clean or whispering without sounding dull. Bassplayer Sir is doing a great job and his contribution is as eminent as the guitars, done by Teloch. The riffs are cold and atmospheric, reminding at times of THORNS. The drumming is dynamic and relentless without being over the top. To point out a few tracks: the singles 'Surtr' and 'On Dead Body Shore' are heavy and decent choices. 'Naglfar Is Loosed' didn't do much, 'Gleipnir' has its moments but didn't nail it, but 'Ash Yggdrasil', 'Heimdalargaldr' and 'Valkyries Assemble' were bullseye continuing the greatness of 'O Thou Empty God'. Once again brilliant and dark. Due to lack of time and knowledge I can't come up with decent comparisons, but their impact is massive! This is pure art, seeking and expanding the borders its genre by digging up deep enough and at the right places. I'm really curious what the next album will bring and hope they continue perfecting these breakdowns, but for now there's plenty to be amazed by. To be honest, "Greatest Of Deceivers" is better, being more solid and powerful, but still "The High Heat Licks Against Heaven" is very strong. 2007's just started but "The High Heat Licks Against Heaven" is already a contender for a place in the top ten of best albums. Thank the Greatest Of Deceivers for NIDINGR! For more info, go to www.facebook.com/nidingr, www.indierecordings.no.