Jotnarr are a band from Colchester, England, formed after a jamsession in 2013. Members have been active in bands like Meadows, Mother Sky and Three Thrones before and combine their interest in extreme metal and the natural world around us in this brutal band. Brutal but melodic, harsh but atmospheric and raw but immersive, that could be the ideal description for what I'm hearing now. Influenced by pretty much everything between Black Sabbath and Wolves In The Throne Room, Jotnarr takes extreme music a step further.
The album opens with 'Rise By Sin', which immediately starts with death metal riffs. At this point I'm ready to yell 'Dismember' but soon after I realize that there's so much more going on. With the tradition of nineties black metal firmly in mind, Jotnarr incorporate elements from so much more. At first, the vintage hard rock elements seem out of place but once the song takes a nudge towards stoner doom, the genius of it all comes shining through.
'Sunless' begins like a post-rock song, showing a band that would do quite well in that genre. I guess it's safe to mention a band like The Ocean here. Of course, this wouldn't be Jotnarr if they didn't turn the whole thing into a blackened piece of crust punk shortly after, without even changing the basic riff that much. Seems impossible? Nope, these guys just pulled it off. By now, I'm convinced that if anyone could blend black metal with the Macarena, these guys could. Don't worry, there's no Macarena here.
'Hernswolf', the shortest track here, is a brutal piece of old school black metal. Like old Ulver? You will love this one, hell, you will love the entire album. Closer 'Waldeinsamkeit' is my favorite track, pretty much an 'all-of-the-above' kinda song but that's fine by me. It's not often that chaotic black metal comes in such high quality and with so much variation. So check it out, and let Jotnarr shock and awe you. You know you want to...