Norwegian Black/Death/Thrash Metal five-piece Ormskrik have been working on their creativity over the last five years, starting with building their own rehearsal space in an abandoned yarn factory, an ideal place I’m sure to let rip with their creativity, culminating in this eleven track, forty-six minute, crushing debut self-titled full length.
Sound wise Ormskrik meld the punchy but groovy drive of Bay Area Thrash, the ominous intensity of Norwegian Black Metal and the melody and brutality of Swedish Death Metal, resulting in something that, for me, is an exhilarating and engaging listen, they have selected all the best elements of those genres and ran with them, like maniacs.
“Ormskrik“, on the whole, is a powerful and engaging album, you get an abundance of blackened thrashy riffing, a good driving well varied pace and slick direction switching, a decent amount of thrashy chunks of lead work and vocals manifesting as higher roar and screams with good clarity of content.
For me it isn’t a case of picking favourite tracks because that would be three quarters of the album but more a case of highlighting the “Hell Yes!!!” moments and tracks, the opening track “Occultness” rises up out of the ether of nothingness, building to a scream, garnished with a blackened thrashy gallop, a great track that switches and varies on a riff theme keeping it interesting.
“Destroyer of Worlds” is a blackened Thrash Fest with atmospheric drop backs and thrashy chunks of lead work and “March of the Dead” has a superb drive that contains an addictive melodic edge, killer sinister edge riffing and thrashy mid-point lead work adds necessary elevation to the sound.
Both of the singles released earlier this year feature on “Ormskrik” so that’s a bonus if, like me, you enjoyed them; the driving “Descend to Madness” with its engaging lead work and the epic and melodic yet dark “Helheim” with it’s exciting midpoint burst of lead work.
Then there is the final track “Eye for an Eye”, crushingly powerful with a superb melodic extended closer on this track which does take up fifty percent of the seven plus minute timescale, is that too long for an outro? I don’t know but I kept listening so probably not!
Overall “Ormskrik” is an impressive first full release, especially for a comparatively youthful line-up, but Norway has had a long-time reputation for producing talented young musicians. This one is out now on the underground Norwegian label Fysisk Format which has, of late, also been making a name for itself for releasing some pretty impressive works of excellence and listening to this you can see why.
Rating – 4/5