It’s easy to forget how much the black metal second wave was a maelstrom of novel ideas, a blossoming of details and musical skills that the world really needed to hear at the time, but was soon drowned out by mainstream stuff and ever since by what everyone thought BM was supposed to sound like. The mid to late 90s hosted some great guitar and drum driven BM bands, and the question of whether to use a keyboard soon became a divide – either you became bombastic, epic, and over the top, or just stripped back macho war metal warriors with bullet belts, to make a point about how effeminate it was all getting, and how you definitely weren’t gay.
How relevant is this then in 2020? Well, luckily, in recent years, some really good new bands have revisited the old days and picked out all the best parts for their new projects. So, if you liked the brutal and progressive-beyond-its-time detail of the KVIST EP, early DODHEIMSGARD, and ABIGOR stuff like Orkblut and maybe even bits of Satanized, but you are self-assured enough not to be intimidated by the sparing use of strings, choral patches and phasing effects that, being as they are in this case, evil feminine themes that could only originate from an entity as horrid as Natassja….my beloved satanic witch ( more on that album later ) – boy are you going to love ATEIGGÄR’s new release – ‘Us d‘r Höll chunnt nume Zyt’.
The two members were also in Ungfell, a band that I came across a few years back, but didn’t like them so much as this. I’m curious as to what foul enlightenment caused these two to change approach, and write and record such a great release?
The shape of each song is very similar to early Satyricon, but the framework has been adorned with far more detail and nuances, with bass lines that move to the fifth occasionally, and all sort of post-modernist textural oddities taken from several walks of extreme music life – a sure sign of intelligence if you ask me. They manage to put in a few huge floor tom thumps as well – like those ones in Under A Funeral Moon that made you jump the first time you heard it. As for any weaknesses, the clean whoaah vocals remind me very much of the old days, as they are sometimes very out of tune, probably as bad as some of mine the first time I tried them, ha ha! Lads, trust me, you need to join a choir to get that bit right! But does it detract? No, not one bit. It makes it all the more authentic maybe?
To summarise, if early 90s BM was a black and white line drawing, ATEIGGÄR have gone and coloured it in, and made it larger than life. If I had a heart black enough to play this kind of stuff, I’d give up after hearing ATEIGGÄR. Plus, they look a right pair of psychopaths!
Underground masterpiece? Pretty damn close.