Jordablod - The Cabinet of Numinous Song
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black Metal
7 songs (42:57)
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Goat

A one-man project from Malmö, Sweden, Jordablod plays an intense yet not unmelodic form of black metal that moves away from traditional pure blasting in favour of a guitar-focused, post-rock-influenced style. Blasting drums and rasped vocals are still very much a part of Jordablod's sound, to the point where it can produce violent raging with the best of the frostbitten bunch, but there's much more of a dynamic approach here to songwriting which results in a far more interesting listen. Opener A Grand Unveiling alone proves this immediately, beginning with almost folksy plucked guitar as it builds, the acoustic strumming turning electric and then to a torrential burst, returning to focus on the high-pitched guitar riffing again as the song twists back upon itself with a return to the strumming at the mid-point, building back into an almost surf-rock-influenced instrumental passage!

Yes, this is a far more adventurous album than initial listens may reveal, casual experiments like the soft/harsh contrasts in the bassy Hin ondes mystär fading into the background when compared to more memorable pieces like the following The Beauty of Every Wound. This opens with soft piano between the strums before launching into a downright raunchy rocking riff, slowing down to approach doom territory later in the track without changing much otherwise but keeping your attention rapt. Blood and Rapture is a personal favourite and a real album highlight, almost dipping into Melechesh territory with the initial battering Eastern melody before opening up into a blackened version of... The Shadows?! Tremendous stuff.

The heaviest and perhaps weakest element present is the vocals; harsh, rasping barks that bellow out over the music and often overwhelm it entirely but the guitars usually manage to fight through, as on the brief Two Wings of Becoming where a solo is even more effective as a break from the vocals. And although the instrumental first half of the title track works as an interlude, it's a little dull and repetitive - although it is better at least than the song's the second half, which builds to absolutely nothing before finale To Bleed Gold begins with its own, distinct intro section. These are minor points when you consider the album as a whole, however, not least To Bleed Gold's eight plus minutes which switch between styles often and act as a kind of summary to the album as a whole, blackened anger and experimental rock influences swirling together perhaps less smoothly than elsewhere on the album but to just as good an effect. Flawed in places, then, but providing enough blackened gold overall to be highly recommended, Jordablod is a name to remember.

Killing Songs :
A Grand Unveiling, The Beauty of Every Wound, Blood and Rapture
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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