From Norway comes SLAGBJØRN, a fierce and chaotic black metal project that had truly seen hell and back. The band started out in 2010 by Vanskjebne, Normann and Smerte. A couple of months after releasing a split CD with their fellow Norwegian band Forhatt, Vanskjebne, the main force behind the band disappeared and was last heard of in his home municipality of Beiarn the 27th of June 2012. The remaining member Normann posted a statement on the second of September 2012 announcing the split of Slagbjørn and an the release of a posthumous album containing the band’s face of the split with Forhatt plus two song recorded earlier in the year.
Members of Skaur, Forhatt, Utbyrd and Iskald reformed the project for an evening on the 21st of December to play a single Slagbjørn concert as a homage to Vanskjebne whose deceased body had been found the previous month. This was the first, and likely last, concert the band performed. Luckily this year, the group has decided to return and release Mørkt og Jævlig which I must say is pure, straight-forward black metal.
Tracks are well written, instrumentals aren’t lacking any punch and the vocals are clear which is usually not true in black metal. The lyrics talk of nature around them amongst the Nordland region and pride for their culture and heritage. In terms of the album overall, the listener could compare this album to old Mayhem, Judas Iscariot and Satanic Warmaster which I would call a perfect mixture.