Here at AMG.com we have instituted a firm “no re-release policy” which precludes new reviews of old albums. The typical use case is a physical release by a label of an album previously self-released digitally by a small band. We do this a) for consistency, b) to narrow the almost-unlimited range of music we could review, and c) so that our reviews remain relevant to what’s buzzing in the scene. It’s important we take this step. Utbyrd hail from Norway’s northern municipality of Bodø and Varskrik is their debut album. As a fan of dynamic music, I gravitate towards double-adjective metal in the promo pool.
The two-minute “Intro” sets the tone for The Atonality of Flesh by telling the feel-good tale of the death of Robert-François Damiens, the would-be assassin of King Louis XV. It recounts, in horrifyingly gruesome detail, the four-hour torture and execution that saw the failed assassin literally being disassembled piece by piece, while a bloodthirsty crowd stood by and watched. The track ends with the commentary “that was a festival, with which today’s festivals can’t compete” before the record begins in earnest with the punky black metal of “Dogs of the Crumbled Firmament.” It’s clear from the get-go that little has changed for Reaper, stylistically speaking, as the track harkens back to the days when black metal was really just NWoBHM tunes on high doses of Satan.