Edging ever closer to the delirious pomposity of symphonic metal, these veteran Nordic nihilists sound both technically precise and comically preposterous on their eleventh studio album, but with a ferocious hardcore edge that makes them difficult to dismiss as pure pantomime.
As White-Gluz swerves effortlessly between clean pop-rock vocals and guttural porcine grunting while ex-Carcass guitarist Michael Arnott cranks out the overdriven multi-tracked flamethrower fretwork, thunderous electro-orchestral battle anthems like Deceiver, Deceiver and Spreading Black Wings blur the line between Eurovision uber-kitsch and turbo-thrash avant-punk extremism.
There is wistful Celtpop yearning here too, amid all the gravel-voiced bellowing. Indeed, spangled folk-metal epics like The Watcher and Poisoned Arrow could almost be Enya, albeit a fire-breathing, nail-gargling, skull-splitting version of Enya shat forth from the rank-smelling depths of Beelzebub’s very own flame-grilled anus. In other words, fun for all the family