“Thill Smitts Terror”

By Dr. Abner Maity

The fairy tales of old were bloody, nightmarish stories designed to burn moral lessons into children with fear. They’ve been considerably cleaned up over the years but in their original form were very dark indeed.

Mysterious Norwegian collective Slagmaur has brilliantly tapped into the subconscious dread of fairy tales and children’s nightmares with “Thill Smitts Terror”. I have honestly never heard anything quite like this and it evokes ominous feelings that I thought I had left behind decades ago. It’s a bombastic, overwhelming and HEAVY assault of black metal, classical music at its darkest and ambient/industrial noise. The sound is absolutely HUGE and based on rather basic motifs and riffs, but layered with all sorts of grim sounds. It’s like “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Hall of the Mountain King” type classical/traditional music dragged into the 21st century. There’s no messing around with gentle tones here….every note is black as midnight. There’s a deep, dark rumbling under every sound that makes it sound immense. The drums sound like rock trolls are playing them. The vocals are various forms of black metal croaks and groans, but choirs also add their dire tone to the proceedings. It’s really a wonderful and new type of dark heavy music.

The whole album is one big nightmare, but some tunes stand out. “Werewolf” is incredibly ominous with its steady plodding and layers of sound.  During “Bestermor Sang Djevellord”, there’s a piano melody that’s absolutely beautiful and memorable buried in the heaviness. The 11 minute plus “Heskeskritt Og Djevelritt” will really put you to the test with its screams, snarls and subliminal dialogue but it’s a journey worth taking if you’re addicted to dark music.

This is a spectacular album from Slagmaur, a new kind of black metal!