The British underground is thriving at the moment; every show I have been to is packed, more underground festivals are appearing and the bands are slowly breaking out into Europe. One band that is doing well is Colchester’s grim black metallers Jøtnarr. They were a band that peaked my curiosity when I first heard them, but it wasn’t until I saw them live that they had my attention.
Despite being a fairly recent band, they’re making a name for themselves across the country with an appearance at Incineration Festival in the UK pencilled in. They are also starting to make waves in Europe with an appearance at Cry Me A River Festival in Germany (due to Black Everest pulling out); as well as a support slot with Conan at the Colchester Arts Centre in June, it’s time to start paying attention to Jøtnarr.
This is a band with a variety of influences at play. On their latest release Burn and Bury they have produced a ferocious mix of black metal, crust, hardcore and doom which has earnt them a small, but growingly dedicated following (with some fans calling themselves the Jøtnarr Hate Crew).
Burn and Bury is a successful evolution of the Jøtnarr formula found on previous release, Divide The Growth and Stone. It opens with “Rise by Sin”, containing some furious black metal reminiscent of Immortal, Burzum, Darkthrone before all hell breaks loose. During the final segment of the song there’s a breakdown with the might of Thor’s hammer which slays me every time; it always makes the hairs on the back of my corpse-painted neck stand up.
Up next is a more emotive, slower and personal side to Jøtnarr with “Sunless,” a song about how humanity has failed the earth. When Chris Moore shrieks the deeply truthful lyrics of ‘in the ruins of a gutted planet we are failed apes,’ they never fail to effect me, the pain can be clearly felt in his voice.
Up next is the short blast of ‘Hernswolf,’ a song full of pure black metal riffs. However, it is the final track that really peeked my interest, the six-minute-twelve-second song ‘Waldeinsamkeit’. This is Jøtnarr’s longest song and it is a corker of a track that holds interest throughout. Chris Moore and Simon Rollo‘s guitar play along with Oliver Harvey‘s drumming work, nicely creating a song that starts off relaxing, builds tension before obliterating at the end.
Aside from Rorcal, no other band sounds like Jøtnarr. In only seventeen minutes they have proven that they’re doing everything right and deserve your attention.
1. Rise by Sin
Chris Moore – Guitar and Vocals
Simon Rollo – Guitar
Oliver Harvey – Drums