Tsjuder: Antiliv

Norse black metal icons uphold the tradition

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Four years after the release of ‘comeback’ album Legion Helvete, the immensely popular Norwegian black metal icons are back with a new full-length.

In a sense, all that needs to be added to that sentence is, ‘it’s very good’, for Tsjuder have not strayed from what is a very particular take on black metal; an aggressive, fast-paced, icy and monochromatic approach that, in some minds at least, is the definition of black metal.

Of course, some will say it’s been done before, but the other side of this sword is that when this sort of thing is executed properly – and Tsjuder are an act that can be trusted to do just that – it has exhilarating results.

The muscular but unfussy production plays no small part in making this all work, but at the heart of the beast is a tight performance with unrelenting percussive assault and vitriolic vocals, as well as a canny balance of aggression and groove. There’s nothing new or particularly original here, of course, but it feels vital and fully justifies its existence.