February 19th, 2013 is no different from February 18th, 1995. Sure, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 4,003.33---its highest ever up to that point---and the NHL was in a lock-out shortened season. But black metal? Not much has changed. There have been off-shoot genres, more commercialization, DIY "bands" bunkered in limited edition cassette releases, and plenty of unmasking (Satyricon, for example), but the core values of 1995-era black metal are no different from what's blasting Luciferian now. Take Norway's Tsjuder (move your lips and say, "Shoe-dur"). The Oslo-based outfit formed in 1993, craftily created three full-lengths before heading to the troll-infested hills, but then re-emerged hateful as a hand grenade in 2010, whereupon they set the Northern Skies ablaze again with long-player Legion Helvete. Determined to not repeat the ills of the past, the terrible trio---who destroyed MDF 2012!---have yet again mastered the unforgiving art of True Norwegian Black Metal, where tempos fly by at Hellish speed and copious amounts of evil are unloaded without care or concern for churchgoers or the religiously-"curious" passersby. This may not sound like a new animal from what was emanating and bubbling black 18 years ago, but at least they're not pretending to be high brow elite art or exclusive (read: excuse for shitty execution) black metal from the post-industrialized low lands of "X" country where Oslo, Stockholm, or Helsinki isn't its capital city.
Bow to Tsjuder. Bow to the reissue of Desert Northern Hell. It's OK if you don't have spikes or a flaming stick.
** Tsjuder's, Desert Northern Hell, is out February 19th on Season of Mist. It's available HERE. Or, find a post-good period Bathory record to sit on and spin. Yes, we're thinking exactly of the Octagon record. Or the Requiem record. Both are horrendous.