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Review: Blodsrit - Hinterland

Label: Unexploded Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 43:09
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: January 27, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)

I first ran into Blodsrit some 7 years ago, discovering them on (before that site turned to crap, and then changed hands to become pretty useless compared to its first incarnation.) I had almost forgotten about them (not out of disinterest) when I learned that Unexploded Records had just released this new album. "Hinterland" was quite a shock on the first spin, since it's quite a departure in sound from pretty much all of their previous releases which showcased some raw, fast and cold Black Metal.  It took quite a few spins to finally get into this one, and even then some passages still sound a little weird, especially the intro and outro, and the few seconds some female vocals pop up at the end of a track, just out of nowhere, and a one-shot deal at that.  The title track first gave me the impression of a mix between Rammstein and Hegemon (the French Black Metal, the former needs no introduction), and after several listens it still feels a bit like that.  Oh my, did I say Rammstein?  Scary?  Well, no, since this sound doesn't really propagate through the rest of the album (and in fact this song isn't bad at all to begin with.)

"Hinterland" is more accessible than its predecessors, in that it presents a more "refined" and melodic and varied side of Blodsrit.  The basics of Black Metal are still present, but this is far less chaotic and destructive than their earlier material.  A lot of the speed and rawness is replaced with slower quiet moments, as well as slow and heavy, more or less doom-ish passages.  Not only is there a lot more diversity in the music, but the vocal work varies quite a bit - from BM screeches not unlike what we could hear on their previous albums, to late Emperor/Borknagar-style choirs, to discreet clean vocals plus some more "experimental" parts where they seem to have played with some studio effects, but nothing overbearing.  Of course the old Blodsrit is still lurking in there, so while some non-BM fan may stick around during some of the quieter passages, they are bound to run for their mommies a couple of minutes later when the onslaught begins.  Nice. :)

Overall this is a pretty good album that needs to sink in first before really starting to appreciate it.  Personally I still prefer the band's old sound, but this is an interesting twist on the genre while avoiding falling into some wimpery such as electronica and other garbage that some Scandinavian BM bands have done.

More about Blodsrit...
Review: Blood (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Helveteshymner (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Ocularis Infernum (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Yxmarder (Guitar) on December 26, 2008 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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