Over the course of numerous EP releases and various appearances in the UK’s underground scene, Colchester trio Jøtnarr have begun to garner quite a reputation. Where the blend of black metal and crust punk is, by now, all the rage, in the hands of Jøtnarr it becomes a whole new beast which fully incorporates it all fluidly through sludgy grooves and an intensity that makes it their own. If early EP’s were impressive, however, this full self-titled debut (SuperFi) fully realises and hones their vision.
Jøtnarr manage to pack a lot in to their sound and hold an impressive diversity throughout yet also manage to hold down a characteristic sound of their own, and this self-titled effort pulls that off greater than ever before.
Album opener ‘Ever Further Mark’ snapshots their definite sound best with its barraging, icey black metal tremolo riffing married with groove and the punky bark of Chris Moore, providing an in your face welcome. Whereas ‘Drugs, Terror, Death’ creates a much more foreboding and dark atmosphere at first before it erupts into a slower but pulverising pace, whilst ‘Nazgul Youth’ provides some almost bluesy, Clutch like guitar work. Elsewhere the likes of ‘Jersey Devil’ up the D-beat ante somewhat, yet it still feels quintessentially the same band and still maintains the desolate, ominous air of its black metal side.
Right from an early stage Jøtnarr have tapped into a unique strain of extreme music which brings together almost disparate styles and fuses them into a white-hot intensity which still supplies plentiful groove and creativity throughout, and this debut full length is quite simply an excellent effort, especially as a debut. With such an exciting sound and high levels of execution, Jøtnarr may be one of the UK scenes most hidden but brightest gems.