GJENDǾD – Nedstingning – Review

Author: Craig Matthews

Music nowadays has gotten so complex that sometimes it barely resembles what it was when the genre began; Black Metal is no exception to this rule. Today’s band is here to cut through the bullshit and remind us how it all began. In true Norwegian Black Metal style I can’t really tell you much about the duo GJENDǾD, they burst onto the scene in 2016 with a self – titled demo which critics loved. This release “Nedstingning” is their debut full length album.

Luckily though I can let the music do the talking for the pair, GJENDǾD have stripped the genre back right to its core and created something that’s powerful and aggressive while having a tortured, haunting quality. The album begins with “Til Hǿsten” and there is very little in the way of a warm up, the duo dive straight into it with an aggressive riff with a lot of emphasis put on the pounding drum beat, it has a captivating hypnotic quality that draws you in for more. Another stand out feature for me is the vocals. They have a grotesque animalistic quality that really pulls the listener into their world, the whole creepy package is finished off with some sinister whispers offset against those animalistic growls.

What I like about GJENDǾD is their ability to keep things interesting for the listener whilst keeping their music very traditional, atmospheric sounds are kept to a minimum, the guitars are kept to a familiar tone and they have avoided the trap of sacrificing quality for originality. They are capable of raging, hate-filled songs one moment and slower, more mournful epics the second. It’s great to see such versatility that doesn’t rely on flashy gimmicks.

A great example of the latter is “Utrydd Den” this loses much of the anger of the rest of the album and takes on a more hectic and panicked vibe, with the brutal riffs and pounding drums swapped for a smoother groove and the vocals now having a much longer drawn out sound to them. It’s enough to make a man’s hairs stand on end and draws you in once again to their creepy and hostile world.

It’s fair to say that “Nedstingning” has become one of my favourite releases this year and some of the best Black Metal in a long time. It’s hard to believe that it’s just two people that have made this record! Their emphasis on quality shines above everything else, there are no bad notes, production glitches or anything else just pure Black Metal at its finest. It’s great to see a band so passionate about keeping the music as close to the genre as they can, and while some are sure to argue that this has all been done before, they are right it has but it’s been a long time since it’s been done this well.

Rating 5/5

1.Track list
2.Til Høsten
3.Nedstigning
4.Håpet Falmer
5.Amputasjon Av Vranglæren
6.Kvalt Av Fornuft
7.Utrydd Den
8.Ny Innsikt

Band members
K – guitars, bass & keys.
KK – drums & vocals.

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