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Slegest: Løyndom

Blackened Norwegian grit with a trad metal heart

Formed by former Vreid guitarist Ese in 2010, Slegest seem to represent the logical extension of their founder’s previous work. But where Vreid consistently (and often brilliantly) brought muscular hard rock grooves to the black metal table, Løyndom makes a much more focused attempt to marry the atmospheres and primitivism of the blackened hordes to the rumbling swagger of prime Black Sabbath and the best strident old-school metal.

Although predominantly mid-paced, there is a versatility of delivery on display here that ensures that Ese’s formula never tumbles down a pitfall of monotony. Songs like the haughty Ho Som Haustar Aleine and the muscular drone of Rooted In Knowledge share some of fellow countrymen Khold’s grim momentum, but inject it with a subtle melodic sense that owes its leather-clad backside to Dio, Priest and even Scorpions.

The album ends with the motoring thud of Past Burden Strength, a song that revels in its own gruesome simplicity, the sparse riffs and AC/DC-like drum patterns combining to create something simultaneously familiar and hypnotic, replete with a guitar solo that oozes classic 80s braggadocio.