Officially formed many moons ago in 1999, Oslo’s Angstkrieg has finally released an offering of dark and oppressive warfare in the form of their self titled debut EP.  Featuring former members of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child and Bloodlust, the Four Horsemen of Angstkrieg deliver a long overdue assault that promises to punish listeners again and again….

What I really like about this release is the subtly and variation of material mixed in with the production.  ‘The Cold Moves In’, the album opener, stalks the city streets like a knife-wielding maniac hungry for blood where as ‘Fountainhead’ before giving into full blown black blasting atmosphere bridged together by groove-intensive, circle-pit thrash madness. Being able to showcase multiple styles can often display a lack of direction and focus but Angstkrieg shift between epic black metal attacks, stomping mosh-metal and speed-snorting thrash without any difficulty. This command of skills and song-crafting was enough to keep me listening again and again and should not be underestimated!

The self-released and self-titled EP also includes lyrics to the 5 songs, which is a bit of a rarity, especially in underground bands releasing their own work and Angstkrieg made certain to point out that this EP is not a demo.  The lyrics do not recount tales of black sorcery or gore-splattered murder but rather a personal recollection of distant and bitter memories that refuse to die, as in the album closer, ‘When You Were Mine’. Cryptic and subliminal, the vague lyrics allow for the listener to paint their own foreboding landscape in which Angstkrieg are the tireless predator.

While I found the 5 songs as solid as anything I have heard lately it is rather obvious that the album is overdue for a band that formed in 1999.  Angstkrieg has had plenty of time to perfect these songs and realize their true vision.  What I don’t understand is why this is their only release in such a long amount of time, other than typical line-up changes and band difficulties.  With any luck, fans of extreme metal will not have to wait nearly as long for another offering from this formidable Norwegian cult!