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Posthum: The Black Northern Ritual

Nordic black metallers add a few notes in the margins

A lot is made of Posthum’s unwillingness to sound like a ‘true’ Norwegian black metal band.

Quite what that means is perhaps not as clear as it might seem – after all, the country’s scene has always been diverse: Immortal sound nothing like Enslaved who sound nothing like One Tail, One Head and so on. In reality, Posthum are not all that musically rebellious. The Black Northern Ritual, their third effort, sounds like a contemporary black metal album with all that tends to entail: a 90s second-wave foundation with a few idiosyncrasies thrown in and a seemingly conscious attempt at avoiding the frostier and more ‘obvious’ sounds of the early genre classics. It’s a path many have gone down and, as so often happens, the somewhat drier and more considered alternative proves less memorable than the works of yesteryear. For the most part, Posthum thankfully do what they do well, utilising hypnotic repetition in a manner that suggests both introversion and catharsis, their slow-burning compositions often proving mesmerising, but occasionally grating.

Via Indie Recordings