Clandestine Blaze
Fist Of The Northern Destroyer
[Northern Heritage/]

Finnish Black Metal band Clandestine Blaze returns with a third full-length album, as always co-released on Northern Heritage (vinyl) and (CD). And again, as always, it makes one wonder why Norway was ever hailed as the black metal capital of the world when so many bands did the same thing better elsewhere. Maybe ONLY because Norway was first, but ever since they've devolved into faggotry other nations have been taking and mutating that old style into their own national sounds - the French got suicidally insane and spawned the Black Legions, the Poles added a good dose of Viking worship and folk influences and spawned Graveland and the like, and the Finns just regressed the sound to its most barbaric primitive roots - spawning the "Northern Heritage" sound and one of its biggest proponents, Clandestine Blaze.

Again, there isn't a lot here that isn't inspired directly by the old Norse style, but it's just stripped down to its minimalist core and with NO attempt to compensate for the minimalism by adding any faggy aesthetic flourishes. GRIM, cold riffing. Straight song structures that build atmosphere from the tension of unvarying riffing and varied dynamics. Grim, croaking vocals. Violently blasphemous lyrics. A raw but not inaudible production. Distill all the elements of black metal in the old Norse style and you get this album. I do think this one is the most focused-sounding and heaviest of the three CB albums, so if you had to get only one this is the one to get. Recommended for Norse-BM fans and fans of the Finnish BM scene.

2003 lord vic