The Norwegian black metal duo known as Gjenferdsel joined forces in 2002. Since then, vocalist/guitarist Iudex and drummer Invictus have continued to shape and perfect their grim weaponry fueled by lethal doses of pain and anguish. The band’s snarling, hellfire attack takes the form of a dark, no-bullshit black metal frenzy that does a fine job of recalling the heyday of Norway‘s corpsepainted hordes. Where some among their newly-formed peers may seem to just be going through the motions for the sake of calling themselves a black metal band, Gjenferdsel portray themselves authentically, getting straight to the point with a sense of genuine inner rage and a gloom-splattered, no-frills sound that is rooted deep within the Norwegian black metal legacy.

As the band’s follow up to their debut, I, their latest release, Varde (Ketzer Records), takes its name from a method used long ago, of piling stones over a burial site to signal the expression of memorializing the dead or in some cases, as a sort of flammable warning to village inhabitants of approaching invaders. If Varde marks the gravesite of anything, one could easily assume it’s the crypt of countless flimsy trends and bands that plague extreme music like feasting maggots in a corpse revived again and again. Accenting their black metal madness with slivers of Viking metal sensibilities, Gjenferdsel have stepped up their game in comparison to their debut. The vocals are, for the most part, of the trademark black metal mold, with the occasional low death growls. The raw-throated voice of Iudex is in good company throughout the record, alongside his razor-sharp riffing and the hammering percussion, courtesy of Invictus.

From the opening number, “Illverk” (easily one of the record’s highpoints), to later tracks such as “Strid” and “Desember”, the songs maintain a relentlessly epic feel, like some sort of unholy battle is on the horizon…which would explain all of the mysterious, exploding rock piles the listener will encounter throughout Gjenferdsel’s invasion via their speakers!