Styggelse - Heir Today God Tomorrow

Styggelse are a black metal band from Sweden that take after the crushing speed and brutality of metal bands like Dark Funeral and earlier Marduk. Utilizing blast beats galore and ugly, demonic vocals on their debut album, 'Heir Today God Tomorrow,' black metal fans are granted a buzzsaw of an album that cuts right through the ear and leaves listeners bleeding for more. From the opening track "Heir Today..." there is no shortage of hissing distortion and chugging riffs and drums along with the vocals all thrown together into a chaotic mix to bring out the best in ugliness. As the album progresses, the vocals tend to stand out in the front while the guitars and and drums burn away in the background with just riff after riff. While some fans may argue that the repetitive song structure is very minimalistic as much as it is powerful, Styggelse use their minimalism to their advantage with raw instrumentation. Sadly, the lack of song variation does leave listeners wanting a bit more with the overuse of riffs and tempo. At least there's a solo, despite how deadened it sounds by the rest of the music, on "The Throne."

"Once The Code..." is one of the few tracks to really feature anything different for 'Heir Today.' The bass finally shows itself with a sludgy opening and the riffs instead take these dark, chugging motions instead of the high speed screechings that will probably have annoyed listeners by now. The sound is still fuzzy but much more evil and vengeful than usual, and even the drums finally take on a different rhythmic pounding so they don't sound like they are performed in one gear all the time. Like early Dark Funeral, much of Styggelse relied too much on speed and extreme sound to get their point across, and it works... only for a little while. Had "Once The Code..." not made its appearance, fans probably would have shut the album off by now for the sake of monotony. "Innocent Until Caught" and "Animalium" sound far too similar and probably could have just been merged into one long, epic track.

"Finish The Trilogy" is perhaps the grittiest track of all with its raw, almost black punk rhythms played like the band is on speed. The vocals have a bit more distortion to make them even more echoing, and all the more raw and evil at the same time. One could almost consider the pitch death metal, but the rest of the music doesn't fit that too well. At least it shows the band is willing to experiment. Overall, it takes fans of extreme black metal to really appreciate this; those who are more used to symphonic or avant-garde stuff may take some time to getting into this, but the raw, minimal power of the music may be too dry for their tastes.

  1. Heir Today God Tomorrow
  2. Ready To Burn
  3. The Throne
  4. Defiance
  5. Once The Code... Forever
  6. Innocent Until Caught
  7. Animalium
  8. Finish The Trilogy
  9. Day Of The Pentacle

Unexploded Records
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Nov 27, 2010
Next review: Facebreaker - Infected

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