Oscenrad – Beyond the Fells (2021)

On the surface, this band aspires to be the next Primordial or Windir, but underneath the skin, the melodies resemble more of what Summoning, old Enslaved, and Infamous did, which is to take a sensation of ancient harmony and bend it into war songs for a modern youth raised on pentatonics and minor keys.

Taking the greatest influence from Bathory, Oscenrad switches between metal riffing and ritual-style drone singing, allowing it to switch between moods like someone falling into sleep after a long day in the arctic sun. The heavy metal influences wear the least well, but some of the proto-black quotations develop old ideas into new voices.

Whatever can be said about this album, it is is own creation despite wearing its influences on its sleeve. If you wanted a hybrid of Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods with more of what Wardruna were doing, this offers an interesting candidate that maintains its integrity and finds a unique perspective.

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