This strangely named mysterious Norwegian Black Metal duo came out of nothing on past year 2016 as a new addition to continuously growing Terratur Possessions roster. I say mysterious because I have no info at all about the two guys involved in the band, V. Einride (taking care of all instruments) and K.R. (managing the vocals), as apparently they’ve had no previous musical activities, but knowing they are from Trondheim, I will guess they’re just close friends from other acts related to their label such as Celestial Bloodshed, Mare and Kaosritual/Dark Sonority.
I still have my doubts though about their lack of past experience, as the skills shown on ‘Whoredom Rife’ since the very first riff starts are definitely not those of some youngsters doing their first spins. They sound not only clearly oriented and defined composition-wise, but also very confidently played.
Although maybe I should start by speaking a bit more about these Norse cultists music, which is definitely influenced by their place of origin, and I’m not speaking about Folk music here. I’m speaking about the already legendary second and third waves of Black Metal, as Whoredom Rife songs are very much inspired by (especially) the likes of Satyricon ‘Nemesis Divina’, Immortal’s ‘Battles in the North’ and some of the first Emperor and Dimmu Borgir grandiose atmospheres.
As you can guess by those comparisons, they combine an aggressive, raw and cold pure Norse Black Metal sound, which is the core of Whoredom Rife’s songs, with lots of very intense blastbeats and lacerating riffs, creating that ice storm type of wall of sound, as well as some more atmospheric and even slightly melodic/progressive arrangements to make everything more interesting. From that already very Norwegian inspired basis we can even include some additional, less obvious, references (or hints), as these guys also show their taste for first Enslaved aggressive and epic mid-paced cavalcades, some of the first Arcturus experimental side and even some of that dehumanized coldness of Thorns (on the last self-titled track).
The thing is, despite all these external references, the duo has produced some very convincing thing here, with four solid songs (alone and as a whole) gathering everything that attracted me from that golden era of the genre, with lots of great captivating and catchy riffs (not just the topical over-burnt shit we’ve all listened to a thousand times), still possessing a certain macabre and violent feeling (but which are quite grandiose at the same time), with melodies and disharmonies enveloping everything in an ice-cold feeling and expanding as a cloak of shadows, and some clever arrangements to keep everything more interesting and varied. Far from being only one of those copycats infesting the Black Metal scene with nothing to say, Whoredom Rife build up a very strong sound as a basis of their sound, which might still need to evolve but at least does it from the right place, and do not excuse of hide their lack of musicality or ideas in the usual "kvlt" or "raw" rant.
Actually, on the production side, for a debut recording, I must say they did an almost perfect job. They attended Rune Stavnesli’s Godt Selskap Studios (where several of last Manes and Keep of Kalessin works have been produced, as well as Necrophagia’s ‘The Divine Art of Torture’ if I’m not wrong). The record sounds pretty clean, very axed on the high tones, in a very Norwegian way of doing things too, but very powerful and intense too, with a very good mix that allows listening to every detail. However, despite the forward positioning of the drums in the mix that infuses a lot of energy to the record, I do not enjoy very much the sound of the double bass drum, which, unless I'm wrong, is triggered.
All this is presented on a gatefold vinyl (black or limited edition in red) with a strongly attractive (even if slightly topical nowadays) cover by Hathrul (José Gabriel Alegría Sabogal, who previously took care of Morbid Slaughter’s ‘A Filthy Orgy Of Horror And Death’) and a very professional layout by Polish Kontamination Design (who have worked with Blaze of Perdition, Slidhr, Voidhanger or Demonical, amongst others).
'Whoredom Rife' is an almost perfect debut, which ends up being a bit too short and with its flaws on the personality, but perfectly taking care of all the rest. So I have big expectations for the continuation, which they already announced recently through an advance track as a full-length to be released in 2017.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.