TSJUDER — Legion Helvete

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TSJUDER - Legion Helvete cover
3.50 | 4 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Black Metal


1. The Daemon Throne
2. Fra en Råtten Kiste
3. Dauðir
4. Voldsherskeren
5. Slakt
6. Black Shadows of Hell
7. Blod og Aske
8. Vårt Helvete


About this release

Released October 14, 2011, in Europe, and October 18 in the US, via Season of Mist.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Tsjuder is one of the unfortunately lesser-known bands in the second wave of Norwegian black metal, but they have gained quite a cult following since their formation back in 1993. Having previously released three studio albums and a number of EP's and demos, Tsjuder seemed to be on quite a roll until they disbanded in 2006. With the future of the band uncertain, they thankfully soon reformed in 2010 and began working on Legion Helvete as their comeback album. As expected, the music you'll find on Legion Helvete is just about as dark, evil, and cold as old school black metal comes, and fans of the genre are bound to be impressed by Tsjuder's latest offering. While it's nothing new for the experienced black metal listener, Legion Helvete is still worth a purchase for fans of the band.

Legion Helvete sounds a lot like the early black metal pioneers who took extreme thrash metal and added a few extra doses of evil. Bathory certainly wouldn't be a bad point of reference here, and the blackened thrash style just shines through on tracks like "Slakt". The music is just about as raw and evil as black metal comes, and there aren't any atmospheric tendencies or any of that on Legion Helvete - this is balls to the wall black metal, and fans of that style are bound to have a blast while listening to this album. I find Legion Helvete a bit too one-dimensional at times, and even though there are some great songs here, my mind wanders occasionally about halfway through. A little bit more variation would've been key to increasing my enjoyment - but, then again, that would probably defeat the purpose of what Tsjuder was aiming to do with this album.

Even though not all of Legion Helvete leaves me head over heels, this is still a pretty great effort from Tsjuder and I've had a pleasure listening to it recently. If you like primitive old school black metal, but with a few interesting changes and complexities in each song, you're bound to enjoy this observation quite a bit. The musicianship is great across the board, the raw production suits the music perfectly, and most of the album is a great example of cold and sinister black metal done right - I'd call that a successful effort for sure! 3.5 stars are very well-deserved, and I'll be curious to hear what Tsjuder offers us in the coming years.
Time Signature
From a rotten casket...

Genre: black metal

Now, this is black metal. It's ferocious. It's evil. It's cold. It's blasphemic. It's filth. It's Tsjuder.

The style is fairly traditional black metal with blastbeats galore and tremolo picking, and the cold and raw production that black metal fans love so much. It is not under-produced though, and it is easy to hear what is going on musically, which I quite appreciate.

While the anchor sound definitely is black metal of the blackest evil kind, some of the blasting passages sound more like early grindcore along early Napalm Death, and, guess what, this seamlessly integrates well into the black metal music on the album. In addition to drawing a bit on grindcore, some of Tsjuder's riffs on this album also sound inspired by death metal. There are also several more thrash elements, which hearken back to the more primitive roots of the European, or Teutonic if you wish, branch of thrash metal, and Tsjuder also have no problems incorporating more crust-punky elements every now and then into their style.

While the music is pretty straight forward and dirty, there are a number of changes in every song, which indicates that we are dealing with skilled musicians here. Especially the drumming is detailed and interesting.

"Legion Helvete" is pure, evil black metal, but still it draw on a number of other metal genres, and, so it should appeal to both fans of black metal and fans of other types of extreme metal.

Members reviews

The announcement of Tsjuder's return certainly excited me, with the band going hiatus on a high note after their 2004 release Desert Northern Hell, which displayed a marked improvement from their previous releases, and through the releases of brilliant post-hiatus albums by the respective bands of Nag and Draugluin, Krypt and Tyrann. Krypt's Preludes to Death also easily came out on top of my favourite 2010 albums, so Tsjuder's new album, Legion Helvete certainly left me with pretty high expectations, to say the least.

Unfortunately, the first listen to Legion Helvete turned out to be pretty disappointing, with the album almost sounding like a half-hearted effort by the band. The weak production quality (at least when listened through headphones), compared to the powerful sound that Desert Northern Hell or even Preludes to Death had, did not help this in the least, and only serves to further drag down the quality of the album. Fortunately though, numerous listens later the album becomes more enjoyable. As per previous albums, the band does not give any chance for the listener to prepare for what's coming, as The Daemon Throne kicks off the onslaught with a bombastic wall of sound without any warning at all. Nag's characteristic vocals are still present, and are still as tortured as fuck, and Draugluin and AntiChristian also remain as polished on their individual instruments as ever, displaying how they have not let their muscles taken a break since the last time they released material together. Even Nag's bass is also clearly audible, on tracks like Fra en Råtten Kiste.

The songwriting style, for the most part, sticks to the same formula as what the band has utilised on Desert Northern Hell, with certain songs like Fra en Råtten Kiste sounding as if it would fit perfectly on the aforementioned album. The 10-minute closing track Vårt Helvete also sounds like a weak attempt to recreate the masterpiece that was Morbid Lust, and though it does have a few enjoyable moments of its own, the track gets boring quickly. While this does not necessarily mean a bad thing, it's definitely not what a fan would expect after a 7-year long wait.

Some songs also end weakly, such as the transition between Fra en Råtten Kiste and Dauðir, which leave listeners slightly disoriented and fans of Tsjuder's previous works disappointed. Dauðir even has moments of lead guitar fiddling in the background at some parts, and these certainly seem slightly pointless and could have easily been done away with. Furthermore, the songs are considerably less powerful compared to those written on Desert Northern Hell, without powerful moments such as those on Possessed, or even their cover of Bathory's Sacrifice, leaving little memorable moments on what could have been a potentially excellent album.

Overall though, while Legion Helvete certainly does not do justice to the legacy that Tsjuder has left for themselves before their hiatus in 2006, as a standalone album, it could be a good example of what Norwegian black metal should sound like.

Originally written for http://www.heavymetaltribune.com/

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