Nordjevel – Fenriir – EP Review

Artist: Nordjevel 

Album Title: Fenriir EP 

Label: Indie Recordings 

Date of Release: 7 May 2021 

This is my first taste of Nordjevel, and what better way to make my acquaintance than with their latest offering, a five-track EP entitled ‘Fenriir’. Only knowing that Nordjevel are a Norwegian black metal band, I didn’t really know what to expect when pressing play for the first time. Would this be Dimmu Borgir style Norwegian black metal, or Darkthrone style? As it turns out, neither are correct as Nordjevel sit somewhere in the middle, albeit quite a bit closer to the Darkthrone end if we’re being truthful.  

In English, Nordjevel means ‘Northern Devil’, whilst ‘Fenriir’ is the name given to a monstrous wolf in Norse Mythology, as depicted on the graphic front cover. The five musicians certainly try their best to make the music live up to both names as ‘Fenriir’ is a nasty affair at heart. The music created by vocalist Doedsadmiral, guitarists Destructhor and Valla, bassist Dzepticunt, and drummer Dominator, is uncompromising: evil-sounding, ferocious, cold, and extreme. However, spin the EP a couple of times whilst listening carefully, and you begin to realise that there’s a certain catchiness to the material that I simply wasn’t expecting. Add to this a production that is not as raw as other bands of Nordjevel’s ilk, and the whole thing becomes a lot more palatable than it otherwise might have been.  

Take the opening title track as a prime example of what I’m talking about. The song begins in oppressive and dark fashion courtesy of the sound of a storm, lashing rain, and the distant exhausted wail of a female voice alongside an ominous growl, but once the composition gets going, it seems to cleverly blend the savage, cold black metal attack with understated melodic leanings. The sharp, frosty, fast-picked staccato riffs are strangely enticing as they carry with them a certain catchiness. And then, when the pace slows to a mid-tempo stomp, the melody and groove of the material looms large. We’re not talking the kind of more overt melody heard within the music of Emperor on ‘Anthems…’ or Dissection’s ‘Storm…’, but it’s there, and it make the opening attack rather addictive.  

The immediate follow-up though, seeks to expunge any thoughts of Nordjevel having a soft or friendly underbelly. From the first note, ‘Gnawing The Bones’ is a lightning-fast barrage of extremity, with almost discordant riffs, drums, and bass all ripping along at breakneck speed, enhancing the intensity and sense of naked savagery, alongside the rasping, venomous growls of Doedsadmiral. Having said that, a sense of groove and imperiousness begins to rear its head in the middle of the track which I rather like with repeated listens.  

The almost relentless attack favoured by Nordjevel continues apace for the remainder of the EP, with ‘Rovdyr’ a breathless slab of frosty black metal, built around the spiteful riffs and guitar work from Destructhor and Valla, whilst you have to almost feel sorry for drummer Destructor as he’s barely allowed any time to ease off the blastbeats.  

Interestingly, ‘Fallen Angel’ feels just a little more theatrical in tone, starting as it does with the sound of a chiming bell before offering a groovier, slightly lighter-hearted, and darkly playful cut of black metal. But it isn’t long though before more ‘normal’ Nordjevel service is resumed via ‘Det Rog Og Ror’, which features a final dose of quasi-melodic staccato riffing, intense blastbeat drumming, and tortured, gritty malevolence from vocalist Doedsadmiral. 

I wasn’t certain whether I would like ‘Fenriir’ or not when I was first swayed to take a listen a few nights ago. However, whilst I recognise that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes, I have found myself slowly warming up to Nordjevel. Listen closely, and the music isn’t as grim and inaccessible as you might think at first. Indeed, it has a certain rustic, raw charm about it. And importantly, ‘Fenriir’ has put the Norwegians firmly on my radar, so that I check out future releases. Check this out if black metal is your thing, because it’d not at all bad.  

The Score Of Much Metal: 78% 

Further reviews from 2021:

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails

Thy Catafalque – Vadak

Terra Odium – Ne Plus Ultra

Hiraes – Solitary

Eye Of Purgatory – The Lighthouse

Crowne – Kings In The North

Desaster – Churches Without Saints

Helloween – Helloween

Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum

Wooden Veins – In Finitude

Plaguestorm – Purifying Fire

Drift Into Black – Patterns Of Light

Alluvial – Sarcoma

White Moth Black Butterfly – The Cost Of Dreaming – Album Review

Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen

Bloodbound – Creatures From The Dark Realm

Nahaya – Vital Alchemy

Frost* – Day And Age

Obsolete Theory – Downfall

Vola – Witness

Acolyte – Entropy

Dordeduh – Har

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever

Seth – La Morsure Du Christ

The Circle – Metamorphosis

Nordjevel – Fenriir

Vreid – Wild North West

Temtris – Ritual Warfare

Astrakhan – A Slow Ride Towards Death

Akiavel – Vae Victis

Gojira – Fortitude

Hideous Divinity – LV-426

Benthos – II

Evile – Hell Unleashed

Ninkharsag – The Dread March Of Solemn Gods

Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood

Morrigu – In Turbulence

Mother Of All – Age Of The Solipsist

Throne – Pestilent Dawn

Sweet Oblivion (Geoff Tate) – Relentless

Exanimis – Marionnettiste

Dvne – Etemen Ænka

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Arion – Vultures Die Alone

Maestitium – Tale Of The Endless

Wode – Burn In Many Mirrors

Everdawn – Cleopatra

Unflesh – Inhumation

Mourning Dawn – Dead End Euphoria

Wheel – Resident Human

Wythersake – Antiquity

Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn

Metalite – A Virtual World

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm

Ghosts Of Atlantis – 3.6.2.4

Memoriam – To The End

Aversed – Impermanent

Secret Sphere – Lifeblood

Enforced – Kill Grid

Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3

Turbulence – Frontal

Iotunn – Access All Worlds

Warrior Path – The Mad King

Stortregn – Impermanence

Mariana’s Rest – Fata Morgana

Orden Ogan – Final Days

Witherfall – Curse Of Autumn

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy

Ephemerald – Between The Glimpses Of Hope

Paranorm – Empyrean

Einherjer – North Star

Epica – Omega

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde

Simulacrum – Genesis

Forhist – Forhist

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Empyrium – Über den Sternen

Moonspell – Hermitage

Infernalizer – The Ugly Truth

Temperance – Melodies Of Green And Blue EP

Malice Divine – Malice Divine

Revulsion – Revulsion

Demon King – The Final Tyranny EP

Dragony – Viribus Unitis

Soen – Imperial

Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida

Oceana – The Pattern

Therion – Leviathan

Tribulation – Where The Gloom Becomes Sound

Asphyx – Necroceros

W.E.T. – Retransmission

Labyrinth – Welcome To The Absurd Circus

TDW – The Days The Clock Stopped

Need – Norchestrion: A Song For The End

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2020 reviews

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

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