Koldbrann: Vertigo

Long-awaited full-length from bestial Nordic metallers

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Remarkably, the last album by Koldbrann, Moribund, was released way back in 2006, though the band have maintained a steady presence for much of the time since, issuing several odds and ends including a live DVD, a split with up-and-coming black doomers Faustcoven and, more controversially, a single in tribute to Russian Nationalists Korrozia Metalla.

Hailing from Norway, the band definitely lean more towards countrymen such as Taake and Urgehal than the better-known bands of the early 90s, and to that end they tend to temper their second-wave Nordic finesse by dipping into the more primitive, bestial side of the genre.

Thus Vertigo sees the band harnessing both the epic chill associated with the genre and also a stripped-down assault and unashamed sense of groove, balancing a sense of atmosphere with some frankly rocking moments. The combination certainly makes for a dynamic and energetic listen. Vertigo overtakes its predecessor in terms of songwriting, the compositions lashing back and forth like an angry cobra, spitting venom at the listener throughout.