Album Review: Tsjuder – Helvegr
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone
Norwegian black metal royalty Tsjuder return with more hate filled ferocity for latest album Helvegr.
Oslo’s Tsjuder have been an ever-present leader since their inception thirty years ago, line up changes and musical differences aside the core of what drives them is none more apparent than with the albums blistering album opener ‘Iron Beast’.
The punitive blast beats and blood-curdling screams are rife on ‘Prestehammeren’ which of all the track in certainly the most intensely catchy, especially the guitar parts. Its not too long after this before some familiar frost-bitten tones makes an appearance for one the album’s longer tracks ‘Surtr’ which comes in at over seven minutes.
Up next is easily the most ferocious track ‘Gamle-Erik’ is so blood thirsty that even the most savage of beasts would whimper it is also the first of two tracks to feature a guest musician for this one Pål Emanuelsen returns to contribute guitar solo which is a welcome return as it’s been over twenty years since he last featured on a Tsjuder release. This is followed up with ‘Chaos Fiend’ before 1349 bassist Tor Risdal Staveness adds vocals to ‘Gods of Black Blood which creates a new level of intensity, this also has a really well shot accompanying video which is worth checking out too.
Longest track of the album and title track ‘Helvegr’ brings with it a complete tempo change from what has come before and the brooding nature of makes it no less cold and void of emotion and the subtle fire soundscapes at its very end lead into ‘Faenskap og Dod really well.
The band finish of with the instrumental piece ‘Hvit Dod’ which is in keeping with the album’s overall presentation and as the rest of album has been nothing short of relentless it’s a welcome addition.
After the band’s 2006 hiatus the follow up releases fell a bit short of the mark but with Helvegr which is surprisingly only bands sixth studio album Tsjuder have aggressively staked their claim worthy of their mythical namesake.
A frenzied return to form.