Signal Rex is coming out with what it bills as a series of obscure discoveries on cassette tape, including Demo 1 from Iceland’s Óreiða.
Unlike so much black metal that prides itself on a primitive, almost naive raw and brutal sound from end to end, Óreiða shows off expert craftsmanship, starting with the relatively dulcet guitar and kalimba – if I’m hearing it right – of opening track Inngangur.
An unsettlingly abrupt edit spits the listener into the brutal blast of Eldhríð. A great centrepiece to the proceedings, Eldhríð is a reckless tear through grim dark night, with drums and agonized howls way back in the mix behind raging and demented guitar.
The final track of this short and sweet slab of Icelandic darkness is the epic, even majestic riffage of Skugginn. Featuring a very melodic theme on top of more subtle, low-in-the-mix black metal snarl, the track breaks down in the middle to some more kalimba-like ambience, before a final refrain of the main motif, the track rounds the EP out nicely before yet another very abrubt edit nihilistically brings things to a close.
Compelling. Excited to hear more from this Icelandic horde.