On Frostbitten Path Beneath

Agonia Records 2005

It was a sad sad day for me when Immortal disbanded.  They had always occupied a special place in my heart.  With that said I can now rejoice because a new king of "frostbitten" metal has risen to the throne and its name is Vidysn.  Stylistically similar but with a more melodic and less brutal approach Vidsyn occupies a very similar place as did later day Immortal.  On this release one man artist Nattsjel has composed some impressive material for a debut outing.  He has also managed to enlist the aid of some very high profile companions such as Hellhammer and Nocturnal Culto.  Hellhammer performs all drums on this release but has managed to control himself and reign in his metronomic mayhem.  Nocturno Culto does the vocals on two songs, namely Stormsend Winter Realm and Evil Rises Darkness Falls.  Though I am not sure why he bothered to get Culto since Nattsjel's own vocals are very impressive on their own and are maybe a little more throaty and dry than Culto's as a means of contrast.  No one song truly stands out except for maybe Take me Up to Higher Ground because of its calm acoustic guitar passage in the middle.  That song is possibly my favorite because the main melodic riff is so catchy and it holds the attention while the drumming beneath shifts its tempo.  It is like a snake uncoiling.  The productions is crisp and with the ice focused lyrics I feel it suits the music perfectly.  If you miss Immortal then definitely pick this up and you will not be disappointed in the least.  But be certain that there are still mild stylistic differences that let Vidsyn shine as their own entity.  It is comforting to hear an artistic vision this impressive yet familiar wander the cold north once again.