This EP of this Norwegian act is a true 'come back' to Black Metal roots of the 90s.
January 17, 2024

Lo-fi sonority in Black Metal was not intentional. It was born by the hands of VENOM, BATHORY and HELLHAMMER in the first half of the 80s, with acts of SARCÓFAGO, SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and SLAYER adding contributions. But things were in this way because it was a matter of recording things the way they did, or do nothing and be devoured by the flood of bands of those days. In an old magazine of 1987, it’s said that Quorthon had to sell potato stew to earn money to record “Bathory” (with a 20 Watts Yamaha amplifier for the guitars, as can be read on “Blood on Ice” booklet), what depicts the difficulties of those days. But such approach was used by Norwegian pioneers of the Second Wave of the genre as a manifest against hi-fi sonorities used by Death Metal acts of Sweden, and became a paradigm for the genre. Today, many bands use hi-fi sonorities with lo-fi elements to keep the genre as honest as possible to its roots; but some bands as ILD, from Norway, prefer to stay attached to the old model, as heard on “Kvern”.

After the words above, it’s clear that the band works on a trench into Black Metal that resembles the early days of the genre, with clear influences from MAYHEM, BURZUM, SATYRICON and others, but with a difference: they add darkened and morbid melodic layers to their music to boost the funeral and oppressive aspect of their music (even some Gregorian-like chants can be heard). Of course that such formula was used many times before, and it’s nothing new, but such romantic and nostalgic appeal is always a fine thing, because the duet is honest on its ideas. It sounds classic and old fashioned, but it’s truly good. The band made the choice to use lo-fi sonority on “Kvern”, with all those nasty and organic instrumental tunes to boost the oppressive and sinister ambiences of the band’s music. Obviously it could be done in many better ways, but’s not a waste. It’s a good work of the band along and Per Sælør on the production (the mastering was done by Likskue Productions).

Musically, “Kvern” will impose a heavy crushing appeal for fans of Old School Black Metal, for “Den Sorte Kunst”, “Til Gjeste”, “Opp i Røyk” (some elements heard on the earlier works of ULVER and ARCTURUS can be heard on this one), “Det Trekker så Kaldt”, “Og nå Skal du Dø” and “Over Flammehavet”, sometimes sounding aggressive and heavy, and sometimes shifting to a more darkened appeal, so there are many beauties to be found on the album. For the future, ILD just have to set a better sonority on their releases (but still with such crude appeal, something like was used by MAYHEM on “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” or SATYRICON on “The Shadowthrone”), but the ideas expressed on “Kvern” are really very good.

8 / 10









When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"Kvern" Track-listing:
  1. Den Sorte Kunst
  2. Til Gjeste
  3. Opp i Røyk
  4. Det Trekker så Kaldt
  5. Og nå Skal du Dø
  6. Over Flammehavet
Ild Lineup:

H - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
X - Keyboards, Drums

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram