Byfrost - Of Death (AFM Records)

Norway has a habit of coming up with ear-scourging extreme music - and Byfrost are happy to add to a proud tradition.
Release Date: 
16 Jun 2011 - 11:30pm

Byfrost hail from Bergen in Norway, and Of Death is their second full-lengther. There – now we’ve got the formalities out of the way I can pitch straight in and inform you that this is one hell of a great rekkid... if muscular, blackened, satanised death metal sounds like your bag then I suggest you get out to you local music delivery emporium and start picketing until they stock this ugly, fetid album.... then when they do I implore you to force all of your friends – yes, force – to buy up the fresh new stock immediately. Once this is done there’s a fair chance you’ll be crowned metal king of your neighbourhood because there is zero chance – absolutely none – that anyone will be pissed off with you for your rather brash actions. This is truly metal that everyone should - and will, given the chance, love.

For a trio this band makes an uncommon amount of racket – opener May the Dead Rise may yet succeed in fulfilling the wish of its title if you play it loud enough; it’s an utterly straightforward, thunderous clarion call to arms that will literally obliterate anything in its path in the live arena. No frills, just ball breaking, cranium splintering heavy metal.

Next track Eye for an Eye has the bare faced cheek to add a smidge of melody to the mix, whilst the martial title track heaves lashings of Immortal into the already heaving pot. It’s obvious these boys are quite literal of mind – Full Force Rage being just that, whilst Shadow of Fear will be a fine addition to the folder marked ‘late period Teutonic thrash’ which I know you’ve got hidden away on your PC. The band then hit you square amidships from left field with the creepily haunting Sorgh, a sort of muffled spoken word piece that sounds like something that celebrated nutcase Mortiis might have committed to tape around the time of Crypt of the Wizard. The fact that a band hitherto committed to no-nonsense bludgeon are willing to stop their album at full tilt to throw this kinda lunacy into the mix really has to be applauded, and the track is great simply because it soooo different from everything going on around it. Normal service is resumed however for the clattering closing assault of All Gods are Gone, leaving you the listener to calm down after the last thirty-odd minutes of aural battery you’ve just been subjected to. This is rousing, inspiring stuff., and no mistake.