Satanic Warmaster
Strength & Honour
[Northern Heritage/]

I can't thank enough, because without them doing the US distro for Northern Heritage it'd be hard as hell to get some of these awesome NH releases. Satanic Warmaster, a two-person project of Nazgul and Torech (who are also members of Pest, Horna, and Blutrache - though I confess to not knowing exactly who is in which other band...), and their first CD release, Strength & Honour, is a fucking amazing piece of BLACK METAL. It's so raw-sounding but far from primitive in songwriting that it makes me think of Graveland on Celtic Winter or Carpathian Wolves, but with better drumming (and it IS live drumming). The music cuts between some of those faster-type of Darkthroneish riffs that are epic and melancholy, but with maybe a bit more old-school flair, and slower sweeping sections with light keyboard accompaniment like old Graveland. The production is really gritty like an overdriven 4-track job, but the playing is so tight and the songwriting so good you KNOW these guys can play and write great songs. The ground may seem well-trodden by my description, but there is a real blaze of passion and honesty and the songs are just plain great - honest, raw, epic, hateful, melancholy - this is PURE BLACK FUCKING METAL!!! GET THIS!!!

2001 lord vic