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PESTKULT - review
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STRANDHOGG
STRANDHOGG
Ritualistic Plague (Evangelical Death Apotheosis)
(Pagan Records)
37:28min

No doubt about it, this is some of the most straightforward Death worship out there. Not your usual melancholy-filled-and-full-of-resignation Death, though. This is more like an angry assault of thousand Grim Reapers hurrying to finish their job. STRANDHOGG are a Black / Death Metal band from Poland that, with their first album, create an atmosphere of total destruction of life. This is Black Metal in its heaviest form, a lethal combination of chugging Death Metal riffs, powerful breakdowns and precise drumming full of blastbeats. And when we get to the vocals we are crushed to a pulp with a triple (or even more) vocal attack, every vocalist trying to outshout the other as if desperately wanting to get his message through as soon and as clear as possible. Black Metal screams and shouts, echoing Death Metal vocals, Grinding guttural grunts - they all mesh together perfectly to drain the life out of listener. Production-wise everything is crystal clear and mechanically powerful, something Poland is already well known for. Songs are mostly fast, with a lot of song structure changes and the slower parts are used mainly to accentuate the mayhem that will unleash itself upon you in a few seconds. As there is no buzzing and fuzzing sound often found in Black Metal releases this will, without question, also appeal to fans of Death Metal (or, dare I say, even Grindcore). All in all, this is a strong first release for STRANDHOGG, and if you want this world to be a better place give this to you children to listen to. Also, to get the full effect from this album listen to it loud. A wild one. Take a listen and weep black tears: www.myspace.com/strandhoggofficial, www.paganrecords.com.pl

Branko Matija¨evic

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