Blodsgard’s full-length debut Monument has been a long time coming, bringing with it the resurrection of True Norwegian Black Metal. It has been like the threat of a distant enemy, always lingering just on the sea’s horizon. Plotting; waiting for the perfect moment to strike. We weren’t prepared, even those of us who knew of its coming. But it’s too late now; our reckoning has come. The icy grip of Norway’s greatest musical genre has me in a stranglehold that I can’t seem to shake loose from.
Melodrama aside, this album fucking rules. Monument is my favorite album of this year, shaping itself up to be a black metal classic worthy to sit among the greats. From furious beginning to melancholic end, Blodsgard had me enthralled the entire way through. The production and sound can be characterized as being distinctly Norwegian, yet refined, modern, and enjoyable without losing any of black metal’s edge. It’s truly a culmination of influences ranging from Burzum’s dark ambient experimentations cropping up on “Livet er Avlyst” to the thrashing, in-your-face riffage found on albums like Mayhem’s “Chimera” or Immortal’s “Sons of a Northern Darkness”. My shitty comparisons don’t do this album justice however, as the sound and songwriting as a whole is something Blodsgard can call their own. There’s something to be said about artists who are able to work within a genre to create something familiar and unique all at once.
I could delve deeper into the moments that make up my favorite tracks, but Monument is an experience to be had with your ears and not spoiled with my words. The raw power of “Mentalt Minefelt”, the icy, depressive atmospheres of “Monument” and “Livet er Avlyst”, the spine crushing, Zimmer-esque brass sections of “Kaoskonstruksjon” all make any words I have seem petty in comparison to simply listening to them. Just give this band your time and I promise that you’ll be rewarded if you’re at all interested in the black metal genre.
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