Mispyrming - Algleymi
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Black Metal
8 songs (46:16)
Release year: 2019
Official Bandcamp, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Iceland and featuring members of such other notable acts as Skáphe and Svartidauði, Misþyrming play a melodic but not altogether pacifist form of black metal that's as close to modern touchstones as Mgła as the classical Norwegians. There are the faintest touches of the dissonance of the Deathspell Omega school to certain tracks such as interlude Hælið, but far more dominant is the sort of folky melody that the more Viking-inclined and some of the Swedish black metal acts made into backbones for their styles. Misþyrming absorb it seamlessly into their emotionally-infused sound, the snarled vocals (in Icelandic) and guitar lines making them a sort of spiritual cousin to Drudkh, albeit far more concise and less hypnotic than the Ukrainians, with more basic and even rock n roll drumming (Og er haustið líður undir lok, for example). And the band manage to make this, only their second, album interestingly varied with later pieces like Allt sem eitt sinn blómstraði upping the violence and intensity, contrasting well with the following, more melodic Alsæla. And by the time the closing title track rolls around the band are focused and entranced, the listener joining them as the mix of Enslaved-esque prog and hypnotic folksy guitar lines make for a surprising accessible and infectious form of black metal, downright triumphant and atmospherically epic as the melodic riffing takes on a near-post rock vibe atop the blasting drums.

Even the bass is audible and plays a solid role thanks to the modern but not too shiny production courtesy of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist DG. He deserves extra praise for this because although a genre so atmospherically dense as black metal doesn't need perfect clarity to be effective, a good (as in, not necessarily crystal clear) production can enhance it all the more, and a band with such a modern (as in, not necessarily a bad thing) style all the more so. It means that the album works well as a singular piece, too, despite variances like intense opener Orgia where the distant keyboards work beautifully to give the thunderous battery an epic vibe. And little touches like the industrial outro to Með svipur á lofti work far better than you'd think, not ruining the atmosphere created or being too experimental for this type of sound. Highlights are near-constant, the strident Ísland, steingelda krummaskuð ("Iceland, castrated dump" - don't hold back, guys!) as good as any other track present, and the album as a whole rewarding multiple listens. A terrific black metal album from a band (and, indeed, scene) worth investigating if you're new to them.

Killing Songs :
Orgia, Algleymi
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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