It’s kinda difficult to justify a reissue of a record that’s barely even ten years old yet…..hold up….”Desert Northern Hell” is nearly ten years old? Damnnnnnnn. Time flies when you’re having fun? In that case, come at us Tsjuder, we’re ready for you and that wonderfully overblown cover that’s just perfect.
“Desert Northern Hell” first saw the cold, harsh light of day in 2004 and whilst Tsjuder had released two full lengths prior to this (“Kill For Satan” and “Demonic Possession”), neither of them quite managed to hit what the band were trying to do. Demo’s had been floating around since the mid-90s and post-second wave black metal and the Norwegian trio finally made their mark with this magnificently frost-bitten ode to the Dark Lord and all things evil. Unfortunately, after recording a live DVD in 2006, Tsjuder disbanded but thankfully saw the error of their ways and came together to release 2011s “Legion Helvete.”
“Desert Northern Hell” is terrifically wrought – catchy in all the right places, vocals (Nag – also on bass) drenched in acid, excellent little flicks of guitar (Draugluin) – and it’s surprising that Tsjuder weren’t bigger than they were. Tracks like ‘Mouth of Madness’ with fun nods to thrash and rich drum fills (AntiChristian – seriously, it’s brilliant) show that the trio aren’t sticking to the tried and tested formula of most “traditional” black metal and the record still feels fresh even now. ‘Malignant Coronation’ and ‘Ghoul’ kickstart the record with heaving blasts and desperately fast paced melody with riffs that’ll be stuck in your head for days on end. On the flip-side, ‘Morbid Lust’ closes proceedings with an eleven minute, drawn out lament of death.
The main selling point of 2013s version of “Desert Northern Hell” is the inclusion of four tracks recorded live in 2001, the highlight being their cover of Beherit’s ‘The Gate of Nanna,’ which is possibly one of the most evil sounding songs ever to have been made. You also get the long out of print DVD “Norwegian Apocalypse” which makes this package an incredibly worthwhile purchase.