In the August edition of The Black Market, fellow TBMer Wyatt Marshall wrote the following about Norwegian black metal lifers Tsjuder: “While Tsjuder certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel here, they definitely aren’t fucking it up, either. And that’s true of a lot of the Norwegian black metal bands that are still around today … If they’re still recording these days, for the most part, they haven’t screwed the pooch the way some fan favorite ’90s bands from other genres have.” I’d go one step further and call Tsjuder a strong candidate for Norway’s most consistent black metal band ever, if far from its most original. Their approach has hardly changed since their long-ago demo days — they play ugly fast riffs 40% of the time, kinda-melodic fast riffs 40% of the time, and whatever stern march or punky stomp seems apropos for the remaining 20%. Every component is thoroughly orthodox, every press photo is a black-and-white shot of corpsepainted guys toting spikes / torches / medieval weapons, and every album delivers the same unapologetically conventional grimness as its predecessor. In black metal parlance, Tsjuder are TRUE.
Tsjuder’s steadfast devotion to the basics of their craft arguably produced its best results on their 2004 classic Desert Northern Hell, but every album they’ve released is more than capable of scratching the same itch. Antiliv is Tsjuder’s fifth album overall and their second since returning from a brief hiatus in 2010, and it’s no exception from this fine tradition. It tends to linger in mid-paced march/stomp territory more often than their past albums do, but no matter. Tsjuder are thorough masters of their minimalist playbook, as “Slumber With The Worm” demonstrates — that long closing lope will produce a riff grimace every bit as frowny as the shredding blastbeats that precede it do. Listen.
Antiliv — which means something close to “anti-life,” naturally — will be out on 9/18 via Season of Mist. Preorder it here.