Three men in the snow, two of them holding a sword and an axe and posing menacingly as if they thought they were actually possessed by demons… does that remind you of anyone? If your answer was Immortal, you guessed right but this definition also applies to Tsjuder. After releasing in 2004 the acclaimed Desert northern hell, the band broke up in 2006. They then reunited in 2010 and released an album the year after, which I was not aware of since it went a bit unnoticed compared to its predecessor. However, Antiliv should have people talking, especially since Abbath is no longer in Immortal, leaving an empty space for ridiculous, but epic and grim black metal.
Whereas the time has come to reinvent itself with so many variations of the genre growing in popularity, Tsjuder are your alternative to the shoegazy, crusty or ambiant black metal. Relying only on a bass, a guitar and a drum kit, the Norwegians have ignored everything that has been put out since Immortal released Blizzard beats in 1997 and are playing cold and brutal black metal.
What is really distinguishing them from the pack is the quality of the riffs. Their isn’t much to talk about here in terms of song writing since the songs are just putting riffs after riffs while the drummer pummels his double bass in the background. However, when the riffs are as metal as this, you can disregard the lack of any arrangement, or originality, and enjoy the glorious brutality and grimness of Draugluin‘s guitar. Vocally, bass player Nag offers a solid performance that goes perfectly on top of the ice cold tremolo fueled songs. As for AntiChristian‘s drumming, it’s as devoid of any originality as his name, but what else could you expect from a drummer who has chosen such a moniker?
Tsjuder is definitely not the next Watain and will never write any ballad or use melodic vocals. It’s also probable that if they found any sort of recognition outside of the extreme metal world, they will be ridiculed for their photos full of invisible oranges. However, they probably don’t care and with an album as strong as this one, they are right to.