Released: 2012, Indie Recordings
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
As busy as Nidingr band leader Morten Iversen, a.k.a. Teloch, keeps himself playing with and in myriad other black metal outfits - Mayhem, God Seed, Gorgoroth, 1349, Ov Hell, The Konsortium, Nunfuckritual, etc. – it's a wonder he has any time left for his own band. But with Greatest of Deceivers, or GOD, he's managed to deliver the second Nidingr release in two years – after a having gone five years between the band's 2005 debut and 2010's mini-album Wolf-Father.
Picking up where the six-song Wolf-Father left off – though without drummer and Teloch's Mayhem bandmate Hellhammer, who's place is taken here by the capable but less flashy Øyvind Myrvoll – GOD is a more complete and fully realized effort. Steeped in anti-religious screed, the overall lyrical concept and vibe on GOD don't stray very far from other projects Teloch's been involved with. But the Borre, Norway-based band's teeth-grinding black thrash and roll is anything but textbook here.
Where Wolf-Father seemed rather slick and one-dimensional, GOD has more depth and personality. The dirtier, discordant, natural sound - and I'm not talking the minimalism or relative lack of production that some purists hold so dear, GOD is both big and loud - opens things up so it's not just all shimmery guitars and blast beats. Sure there is still plenty of that, but the Entombed-like grittiness gives it more bite and guitarists Teloch and Blargh aren't averse to punctuating things with gnarly grooves – notably on the gut-punching “Pure Pale Gold,” “The Worm Is Crowned” and “Rags Upon a Beggar.”
And this is one black metal album where the bass figures prominently – even though there doesn't seem to be a dedicated bassist as Teloch and Blargh split the duties here – giving GOD a fatness and swagger you don't offer hear in this sort of stuff. Add the raging vocals of curiously named frontman Capt. Estrella Grasa, whose gruff, bug-eyed shouting can peel paint, and you've got some of the beefiest black metal this side of Carpathian Forest.