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Angst Skvadron – Space Black Metal


Angst Skvadron - Sweet Poison

Angst Skvadron - Sweet Poison (2010)

Angst Skvadron – “Sweet Poison” (Agonia Records, 2010)

Let’s say you have been in a Black Metal band for almost twenty years. Yes, it pays the bills (barely), but sometimes you feel like creatively you’ve been locked in the “black apartment of depression” by all the falderal that comes with pledging allegiance to Satan.* This is the conundrum that Trondr Nefas, who sings and plays guitar for Urgehal, has faced recently.

Formed in 1992, Urgehal is a first generation Norwegian Black Metal band that is known as much for its “corpse paint” and spikes as for its solid but generic black metal. So what do you do when it all gets, well, a little boring? Form a side project, Angst Skvadron, and dole out some “Space” Black Metal so you can spend your time playing songs called “Aerophobia,” “The U.F.O Is Leaving,” and “The Eyes Among Stars” instead of songs with titles like “Satanic Black Metal in Hell,” “Goatcraft Torment,” and “Through the Grace of Hell.”

“Space” Black Metal is interesting and weird – in a good way – musically like Hawkwind and Voivod groped each other one night, fell into bed and then had a troubled, cough-syrup-drinking kid. It is Angst Skvadron’s use of Voivod‘s tonality or, more accurately, angular atonality that makes it so interesting. I am a sucker for unusual atonal riffs like Greg Ginn of the almight punk band Black Flag and Piggy of Vovoid ripped from their guitars.

Angst Skvadron – “The Eyes Among Stars”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV_jmqDaQvw

The tempos here are much slower than the ones usually found in Black Metal. Angst Skvadron specializes in sludge-like rhythms that lumber and lurch like songs from a Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weil musical. In fact, the wheezy organs and discordant pianos that infuse the album also sound like they are straight out of Brecht and Weil production, but I am sure that this is an accidental shout out rather than an intentional reference. I’d be blown away if Trondr Nefas brushed up on his Brechtian distanciation in the spare time he had away from doing Satan’s work (or maybe Brecht sold his soul late one night at a German crossroads and we are just now finding out about it).

Angst Skvadron – “Aerophobia”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUJq7iKVhpk&feature=related

The angular atonality and lumbering rhythms make this record. It may not be your cup of Black Metal but you need to check it out at least.

*”The Black Apartment of Depression” is my favorite Black Metal song title. It is the name of a song by the Italian Black Metal band, Leaden.

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