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Tsjuder - "Legion Helvete" (CD)

Tsjuder - "Legion Helvete" CD cover image

"Legion Helvete" track listing:

1. The Daemon Throne
2. Fra en Ratten Kiste
3. Daudir
4. Voldsherskeren
5. Slakt
6. Black Shadows of Hell
7. Blod og Aske
8. Vart Helvete

Reviewed by on December 20, 2011

"'Legion Helvete' is a great re-entrance for Tsjuder. This album has some fine moments and is akin to a blast from hell."

Remember the days before black metal branched out into all the avant garde sub-genres? Well, bringing us back to those times is Tsjuder, who has concluded its seven-year hibernation to re-emerge with some of the most sinister and nasty black metal to crash down around you. Tsjuder had packed it up after thirteen years in 2006, but this second-wave Norwegian horde is back with its new one "Legion Helvete."

"Legion Helvete" brings back the glory days of early black metal. The eight tracks on the album are the complete embodiment of evil. Songs such as "Slakt" are loud stompers that add not only choral chanting to the supremely evil vocals, but also put the nice touch of a chainsaw into the mix. The tracks are done with that direct wall of din that doesn't take a backseat to aimless guitar noodling. The axeman complements the rhythm section on "Blod og Aske" rather than detracting from it, the serpentine rhythm having an ominous effect to it.

You'll feel like you're staring into hell on "Legion Helvete," sort of the way one feels when listening to Impaled Nazarene or Immortal. Tsjuder has one of the scariest vocalists around in Nag, and he punctuates those rapid fire wails of his with death grunts on "Fra en Ratten Kiste" much the way Tom G. Warrior used to do. This song takes a truckload of atonal chords and blends it into an old school stomping groove. They come across brashly on "The Daemon Throne" with a stampeding beat that yields into great transitions and high hat action. "Voldsherskeren" shows their prowess in piecing together bundles of chaotic movements with a catchy gallop amidst the pulsating drums.

Possibly the most traditional black metal song would be "Black Shadows of Hell" in the way that it delivers the frenzied leads, but it doesn't get boring at all due to its agonizing screams and blitzkrieg drumming. In a similar fashion, "Daudir" uses a more traditional style of leads than the usual black metal song, but achieves an optimum effect by staying catchy and transitioning into a stomp-fest. "Vart Helvete" takes a slower approach and languishes a bit before picking up the pace, though it left me nonplussed compared to most of the other material.

"Legion Helvete" is a great re-entrance for Tsjuder. This album has some fine moments and is akin to a blast from hell. It's what old school black metal should be: unabashed and nasty. It is also well written, loud and catchy, with songs that flow. If you miss the old sound of the legions of black metal chaos, this is an album not to be overlooked.

Highs: Supremely loud and evil old-school black metal

Lows: Slight factor of redundancy here and there, but overall not much

Bottom line: "Legion Helvete" is a necessary listen to fans of early black metal.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)