Teitanblood - Death
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Raw Black/Death Metal
7 songs (1:08:33)
Release year: 2014
Official Website, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Goat

It's been interesting to note something of an online backlash against old-school death metal recently, and especially against the more low-fi and raw-sounding bands. There are a lot of old-school death bands out there, often that sound very similar and often that aren't very exciting, but the exact moment a band goes from headbangingly awesome to boringly derivative is different for everyone. A lot of it is personal, a lot of it is based on who was first; your love for Autopsy is very different to your feelings towards one of their clones, for example. Yet there's no denying that bands that can actually write music with hooks and songs seem like they've achieved more than those that just produce ugly spewings of hateful noise, and the latter is definitely an acquired taste. And Teitanblood are definitely in the latter category...

Although they're not the rawest, most tuneless band you'll ever hear, this is definitely several worlds away from shinier, sterile-clean death metal. I wouldn't even call them 'war metal', as this is more like post-war metal; the dead descending to hell. That album title is perfect. Opener Anteinfierno rockets at you with an immediate wall of noise, grinding riffs atop a solid blasted base, something like Darkthrone and Terrorizer angrily jamming together – in demo form. Yet you know that the band have that ineffable it from how exuberant the high-pitched soloing that appears and disappears almost at random, from how heavy and crushing the riffs are, from the feeling of being steamrollered that the best underground death metal has.

Here, unlike on their debut full-length Seven Chalices, the interludes are built into the tracks, so the moment of shimmering horror-film noise before the twelve-minute Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist begins its epic build-up is utterly seamless, and all the better for it. As the track progresses, it starts to make (slightly) more sense, a weird sort of chorus almost emerging from the void and carrying you along with it; few bands are this capable of writing lengthy pieces of music that are extreme without losing the listener. One truly epic breakdown later, with hellish shrieks and growls subtly worked through, the song takes a death metal charge like a rotten Bolt Thrower, petering out into a chorus of burning souls.

You wouldn't notice that this album is nearly seventy minutes long if it wasn't pointed out to you, although it is an exhausting listen, with five tracks out of seven over ten minutes long. The likes of Plagues of Forgiveness are relentlessly bleak and horrific, an almost black metal atmosphere that is truly evil in sound, only heightening later on in the album with the twisted vocals and sound collages of Unearthed Veins, and peaking with Silence of the Great Martyrs, which ups the black metal quota initially before dying out about seven minutes in, then turning to a dark ambient outro full of bells and creepy chanting. Murky and primitive in style if not execution, oppressive and crushing, this is going to appeal to a very specific sort of metal fan. So if you're the sort of death metaller that can tell Black Witchery and Revenge apart, the sort that can distinguish high-speed riffs even when muffled, then you will love this.

Killing Songs :
Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist, Cadaver Synod, Silence of the Great Martyrs
Goat quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Teitanblood that we have reviewed:
Teitanblood - Seven Chalices reviewed by Charles and quoted 91 / 100
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