Aesahaettr - The Sundering Blade of Bolvangar by speedglueandmusic_aw
Aesahaettr - The Fury of the Panserbjorn by speedglueandmusic_aw
Black metal comes in a lot of different flavors. There's the raw, evil sound of early black metallers, all harshness and aggression. Or the slower, more melancholy style pioneered by Burzum, furthered by Weakling, and propagated by about a million modern black metal bands. There's industrial black metal, false & hard-rocking black metal, lo-fi & experimental black metal, shoegaze black metal ("depressive rock"), 8-bit black metal, wooden black metal, epic war black metal, folk black metal, noise black metal, orchestral black metal, etc etc etc ad infintum. It can get overwhelming, and so its something of a relief that Aesahaettr, a new one man black metal project from Montreal, doesn't add anything new to this pantheon of black metal offshoots- in fact, this is almost exactly what I would call the textbook definition of modern black metal. This is not a bad thing, because Aesahaettr do by-the-book black metal right. Side A of this, Aesahaettr's self-titled demo cassette, features black metal in the driving, upbeat, riffing style, all fast picking and programmed drums. I like the sound of drum machines and I like drum machines in black metal, so that was one thing that appealed off the bat. But what I am truly a sucker for (and what I think is the primary thing that sets Aesahaettr apart from other like-minded bands) is hooky, empowering riffs, and Aesahaettr brings some real fist-pumping-head-banging moments on Side A. I have to admit that I do feel somewhat conflicted about this, as black metal is meant to be dissonant, misanthropic, isolating, and basically the opposite of "catchy". But I guess that's why I'll never have trve grim kvlt black metal cred, and instead will spend my time listening to music that claims to be evil, yet sounds like the sort of speed metal used to soundtrack a Mega Man game. Side B of this tape fulfills Aesahaettr's obligation to the other main style of modern black metal, the Wolves in the Throne Room back-to-nature epic that takes at least 15 minutes and requires strings and live recordings of the outdoors- and Aesahaettr succeed in pulling this off. Basically, if you crave something new and different from contemporary black metal, look elsewhere. But while this may be more of the same, its more of the same done really well and should appeal to fans of meat-and-potatoes black metal.