Nima : Germany’s Goat Of Mendes are one of the veterans of the Viking metal scene. The band has been around since 1994 and their debut, ‘Hymn To One Ablaze’, is already more than two decades young. In the beginning the music mainly contained black metal influences, but over the years the Viking, pagan and folk metal became more and more obvious, and not always with success. However, along with the debut I found especially the last LP, ‘Consort Of The Dying God’, on which they again headed into a sturdier direction, to be a rather pleasant album.
Late October the gentlemen released their sixth long-player, ‘Hagzussa – Riding The Fence’, on which they draw the line of the predecessor further. However, this is one of the most balanced albums from this band so far, and with that one of the most versatile. Sturdy death metal, black metal and traditional riffs go hand in hand with grim, dragging, almost-doomy passages and atmospheric guitar melodies. But it is especially the riffs that play the main role here and this album contains the most catchy and best thought-out riffs we’ve heard from these men. On the vocal front head figure Surtur also shows his best side and in general delivers a lot more variety than before.
‘Hagzussa’ is also the kind of album that is instantly impactful, but one that gets better with every spin. Besides that the gentlemen also manage to keep you fully focused for forty minutes, and drag you away into their mystical world. Thanks to the good production the whole thing comes into its own quite well and the – in my opinion – beautiful cover artwork should not be left unmentioned. All put together make ‘Hagzussa – Riding The Fence’ a strong record that will not disappoint the fans of Viking/pagan black and death metal.