Hilning is the solo project of former Afgrund vocalist/guitarist, Aldriendir (aka Andreas Baier), and as if you could not tell from the cover art, it’s a radical departure from Afgrund’s savage, Nasum-styled grindcore.

Unfortunately, where Afgrund kicked out some pretty goddamn solid material in their 3 album existence from 2007-2012, I’m not sure Aldriendir’s foray into classic 90s black metal is quite as successful, as Råtijinn, while a competent throwback to frosty second-wave black metal, is more often than not pretty run of the mill.

Teasing a frosty, folky, and grandiose album for fans of Thyrfing, Kampfar and Vintersorg, the promotional email for Råtijinn indeed got me pretty worked up. But I hear nothing like those bands here, (maybe some Kampfar), as the album is pretty much an overlong 48 minutes of standard tremolo-picked riffs, shrieks, and some intentionally lo-fi keyboards (i.e. start of “Ukko”) here and there.

A few of the riffs are solid, and occasionally deliver something decently nostalgically icy and foresty (“Runola”, “Ukko”, all too short “Hamnbyte (Gå upp i björn”, “Rahnsvá” ) but it’s all something you’ve heard before from the black metal saturation of the early 2000s, where anyone with corpsepaint, a back yard, and a home recording studio could kick out an album willy nilly.

Not a terrible album by any means, but with some really really good nostalgic, retro bands and albums (Pestilent Hex, I Am The Night, The Mist From the Mountains)  recently out there, I don’t see myself revisiting any time soon.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 15th, 2022


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