The High Heat That Licks Against Heaven

Man, Season of Mist are consistent in their ability to find amazingly diverse artists to add to their roster.  Nidingr’s Third Full length record The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is another prime example of Season of Mist being able to deliver amazing releases. Teloch and company continue to develop their unique style of perverted avant garde black death. Having being busy working with groups like Myrkur it is nice to see Teloch return to this group in such an eclectic way.   This album is not nearly as blast heavy as their last release The Greatest of Deceivers that came out back in 2012 but definitely feature elements similar on The High Heat that licks against Heaven.

The name, Nidingr’s name is translated from old Norse to mean “Scoundrel” or “a person of hatred and sin”. Kicking off with “Hangagud” which loosely translates to “God of Gallows” kicks off this uniquely fun and bizarre release. This particular tune reminds me a great deal of Tulus Pure Black Energy that came out back in 1996 which was another example of mixing almost traditional Norwegian style black metal with avant garde elements.  One theme musically that is prevalent throughout is the well done bass playing by bassist Sir.  Songwriting wise it is nice to hear basslines operate as almost lead lines of blistering cold chords.

Don’t get me wrong there are still heavy almost Morbid Angel lick tinges throughout this record as well.  All of the sudden on tracks like “Surtr” which seems to float with the combination of chord structure with one two thrash beats builds nicely and then all of the sudden the floor drops out and there are lower tuned guitar parts that makes the listener feels as though they are descending into some sort of void. Cpt Estrella’s Grassa vocals are diverse and all over the place in a good way.  There are even some nice homage’s to Carl Michael from Ved Buens Ende/ Virus/ Aura Noir. Tracks like, “The Ballad of Hamther” would be a great example of this.

“On Dead Body Shore” would probably be the one track I would recommend off of this to either take or leave this release.  This release might be a a tad too prog/ jazzy’s weird for some listeners but if you are a fan of this style and like releases like Dodheimsgard A Umbra Omega or any of the Virus records if you take that style of avant-garde weirdness and mix it with tinges of black/death that is what you get with this release.  The droning octive guitarlines on this one are extremely catchy and paint a unique atmosphere which many of Norwegian black/death bands seem to be going for these days.  Gross, desolate and dissonant.

This is a fun record in that it builds so nicely and each track seems to have a few elements that are different than the other.  It is difficult to predict when sound and style are going to shift.  It is best just to get lost in the grossness. “Gleipnir” which is old Norse for “open one” is probably the strangest song on this release.  Strange in the sense that it is sharp contrast from the last track and continues to add oddly spacey and bizarre atmosphere similar to Virus’s Memento Collider release of a few years ago.  I don’t know what planet these guys are creating but someday I think I would like to visit.

“Sol Taker” is a bit more up tempo.  They seem to shift every other song in terms of tempo and metal and jazz elements.  “Sol Taker” mixes in more heavier lower tuned lines mixed with harmonized octives that take one back to Domination Era Morbid Angel.  The drum works of Mryvroll really shines on this track. “Ash Yggdrasil” goes the complete opposite direction back into the weird single vocal line chants by Grassa.  This track gives the listener a bit of a breather in that its essentially chant harmonized vocal lines of some strummed chords.   When the distortion kicks in we get some mid-paced black metal with harmonized guitar lines.  “Valkyres Assembled” goes right back into heavier guitar lines and driving double kick lines. For the most part this is a fun record although you have to have an appreciation for Nidingr’s weirdness to enjoy the contrast of shifting styles throughout.  Teloch continues to evolve the sound of this project into a unique direction that is distinct from other groups from this area playing their own style of avant-garde black death metal.

Overall, The High Heat That Licks Against Heaven is a ten track, forty minute trance into a meticulously painted world that Teloch and company have built.  This is well thought out record and it is extremely well played. Season of Mist have another winner here and highly recommend this one if you like weird.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
March 29th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Ace Barker

    Garm from Ulver also provided clean vocals on “Ash Yggdrasil”……

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