Led by Jim Lowder — that’s a “w” as in “double-u,” as in “way the hell Loud” — the group’s two-guitar campaign (Lowder and fellow feral marauder Dustin Rieseberg) smokes ears at both ends with bludgeoning riffage and thunder-belly stomp. This assault is battened by bassist Aaron Rieseberg’s (also of ye lordly Yob) lowdown snarl and drummer Jason Oswald’s bruiser of a swing. Like most inhabitants of expansive uncompromising metalscapes, Norska’s deadly proficient at altering tempos and switching gears multiple times in the same piece. But no matter the speed, the end result is multidimensional. Majestic glacial structures with a fire a-brew within. Even their lulls are hard-core, their repose relentless, harbingers of something wicked this way comes.
“Two Coins for the Ferryman” navigates the languid waters of the underworld, headed toward a pounding, hungry seethe ascending Lowden's scalded windpipe to explode as universe-throttling damnation. (His voice truly is something to behold, from “Amnesia’s” full-bore charge to his final volcanic howl.) Album centerpiece “They Mostly Come at Night” — an “Aliens” (1986) reference, I do b’lieve — flows as Armageddon. “They mostly come at night … mostly,” sez li’l Newt, her carnage-hardened eyes scanning landscapes of morbid feasts and death debris. The track begins as a liquid cascade of scene-setting strings for exactly 2 minutes 15 seconds before hordes of otherworldly carnivores march across the horizon to feed. Their prey battles bravely for their lives, exchanging fire and screaming their last against combat’s brutal shadows. Respites are brief in “Cholera,” which, musically, devours everything sight, then rests for a moment under a shroud of thoughtful darkness before crushing and gnashing once more.
Aaron Rieseberg’s bass lumbers, advances and swaggers through “Nobody One Knows”; Lowder and Dustin Rieseberg struggle mightily against its pull. In the parlance of Ronnie James Dio: \m/. This is all heavy, heavy, brutal stuff. These volume-mongers don’t trick-or-treat unless there’s a body count. Their EP shouldn’t be played until your bones and internals are properly moored.
If your heart’s got the Southern Lord label on speed-dial and you prefer your tempos scathing and savage, then Norska’s the hellion tempest of your wildest fever dreams. Buy ’em, book ’em, live ’em." -Cory Frye Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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