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Greatest of Deceivers
February 2013
Released: 2012, Indie Recordings
Rating: 3.5/5
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.
Track Listing

1. Greatest Of Deceivers
2. All Crowns Fall
3. O Thou Empty God
4. The Balances
5. Vim Patior
6. Rags Upon A Beggar
7. The Worm Is Crowned
8. Pure Pale Gold
9. Mother Of Abominations
10. Dweller In The Abyss


Teloch – guitars and bass
Blargh – guitars and bass
El.Cpt.Estrella Grasa – vocals
Øyvind Myrvoll – drums

Other reviews

» Wolf Father
by Robert Williams

» Greatest of Deceivers
by Peter Atkinson

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