Koen S. : Aha, Sjukdom! Not Sjukdom from the United States with members of Uada, who decided to call it quits in 2018, but Sjukdom from Norway. I remember their last album from 2013, ‘Når alt Mørkner’ very well, since I played it frequently at the time. ‘Alt For Norge’ and ‘Dødsengel’ were my absolute favorites back then. Now these guys bring us a successor named ‘Stridshymner og Dødssalmer’. Sjukdom joined forces with Osmose Productions in 2017 and they will of course release the new album.
The horde from Tromsø pays tribute to Norwegian black metal from the nineties and they do it wholeheartedly. After some Northern forest ghouls welcome us in Sjukdoms world, we are treated on icy, fast black metal that radiates pure rage. Sjukdom does not deliver something new here, but the execution is top notch. Songs like ‘Nærvær’ and ‘Med En Fot i Graven’ sound like an ice-cold winter storm which makes you crave for the purgatory of hell. But it is not only a matter of relentless blasting and bashing. On ‘Lykantropi’ it swings even as hard as Carpathian Forest in their best black & roll days and ‘Terra Nihil’ is melodic enough to fit the latest Dark Funeral album perfectly.
The whole album does remind me on the works of Tsjuder and Urgehal though and it feels like you are lost in one of those dark, endless winter days in the vast forests in the far north of Europe. ‘Stridshymner og Dødssalmer’ is an album for those who love the aforementioned bands and those who like bands that play raw black metal with a melodic touch. I’m thinking of Sarkom, Enthroned and Ragnarok for instance.