Genre: Black Metal
Country: Norway
Label: Osmose Productions
Year: 2017

It’s been eight years since the release of the previous Slagmaur album “Von Rov Shelter” and it was a long time for the fans of the band to wait for something new by them. I myself, lost my mind when I first heard talks about new Slagmaur material and was even more excited when I saw this sick cover, knowing that a new record was approaching fast.

“Thill Smitts Terror” happens to be the longest release by the band so far, surpassing the previous two albums by ten minutes. Anyone familiar with them knows how unique and special their music is and don’t expect anything less from them this time as well, as the record grabs you by the neck and shakes you with it’s haunting presence. Slagmaur are a very theatrical band when playing in concerts, they aim for a nightmarish atmosphere and that’s exactly what their music provokes as well.

The production is very thick and it feels like it’s surrounding the environment around the speakers, delivering the deranged and stressful vibe of the band right away. Most of the tracks move in a middle-paced speed and display sets of heavy riffs, as well as pale synths and keys behind the noisy guitar sound. Slaugmaur don’t feel like playing fast or extraordinarily technical, instead they move on crushing with a slow tempo and a very steady rhythm.

While it is homogenous for the main part of it’s content, the album opens and closes with orchestral parts that reminds a lot of Prokofiev’s immortal composition “Dance of the Knights”. The two parts (Innferd and Utferd) last around fifty seconds each and stick out aurally but fit to the flow nicely, giving “Thill Smitts Terror” yet another reason to admire it.

After the introduction come two truly massive tracks “Drummer of Tedworth” and “Werewolf” that leave quite an impact to the listener. The guitar lines work as a wall of noise, from which a riff or two are distinguished here and there, while the unsettling screams can make you sit uncomfortably in your chair. There are all kinds of vocals in the album, featuring shouts, chanting parts, as well as some growls that bring to mind the singing style of Kvarforth in “Bestemor Sang Djevelord”. That track also has some amazing keyboard lines, also found in other parts of other compositions in the album.

The eleven minute “Hekeskritt Og Djevelritt” starts in the same manner as “Werewolf” but soon evolves into the monstrosity it is, having samples of women screaming somewhere in the middle, as well as a bit of clean singing and the pace of the band, a really disturbing track indeed. “Hansel Und Gretel” has one of the most distinct guitar melodies of the album in the beginning while “Ja Vi Elsker Dette Landet” is the last number before the outro and very vaguely, had me thinking of the debut of Manes for some reason.

They have created yet another masterpiece and it was worth waiting for it. It has insane tracks, it is very powerful and intense, the proof that the band has been progressing all these years into something monumental and scary. Even if you know what they are about, you are still not ready for “Thill Smitts Terror”. Their damaged sound and musical layers will own your world and it’s a highlight of this year for me. Slagmaur indeed are the Norwegian Giant.

5/6