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Review: Byfrost - Black Earth
Black Earth

Label: Painkiller Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 38:38
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black/Thrash

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: December 31, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Black Earth

Rated 4.27/5 (85.33%) (15 Votes)

I really liked the Byfrostmetal EP, so I was quite thrilled when I saw this full-length show up in my mailbox a few weeks ago. Three out of four songs made it to the full-length, "Fifth Circle of Hell" not making the cut. The album just picks up where the EP left off, with no surprises, just more great blackened Thrash from these Norwegians. I mentioned in the review that Byfrostmetal reminded me a lot of Immortal – well, just a few days ago I was listening to a radio show and heard a song start. At first I thought "uh, these guys are playing Byfrost?", only to realize a few seconds later that it was a song from the new Immortal playing. D'OH! With that said, while the style is quite similar, there are enough differences between the bands (Immortal's signature guitar sound is not here, for instance) that little mistakes such as mine will be few.

This is catchy Black/Thrash – it has this little Black 'n' Roll vibe from time to time, even with some galloping riffs thrown in, which really gets you going. Evil minds amongst you fear not, this is not a party album, as Byfrost pack in a good dose of dark, ghostly atmosphere in their sound – they can be scaring the hell out of the neighbourhood priest one minute, and rocking the hell out the next. The balance between "rock-ish" and "Black Metal-ish" is almost perfect here. The closer, "Skull of God", is probably the most Black Metal-ish song on the album, focusing on atmosphere and essentially doing away with anything related to Thrash. No changes in the vocal style from what was on Byfrostmetal – raspy Thrash vocals that are decipherable enough if you pay close enough attention – and venomous as hell, I must say.

It's pretty simple – if you liked Byfrostmetal, you're going to like this as well. If Immortal hadn't released a new album this year, Byfrost could have held the torch high and I'd still have been happy. This is motherfucking Byfrost, bitches!

Additional Information

Re-released by Painkiller Records in 2010

Other related information on the site
Review: Byfrostmetal (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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