Sami hardcore act Ondt Blod – yet another superb name to come out of the fertile Norwegian punk scene – have come out swinging with their second album, Natur.
If you heard their first album, 2016’s Finnmark, and enjoyed it, then you’re going to get your pleasure socks blown off by this album. And if the name is new to you but you like a nice pop punk melody bolted on to superior groove metal riff barrages, then can I suggest you dive head first into this delirious album, and damn the torpedoes?
Like vague forbears Kvertelak – the two bands have toured together – Ondt Blod don’t just mix genres over the course of an album, they do it within songs. Gargantuan rockers like Unge Kniva emerge, mixing noises as far apart as Buddhist hardcorists Shelter and pop punkers The Ataris into a glorious singalong orgy of melody, whilst Med Ulver adds unforgiving, raw-throated notes of The Haunted into the mix, before welding another unforgettable pop radio-friendly chorus onto the madness. It shouldn’t work, but, obviously (or I wouldn’t be telling you) it does.
Når Sirenan Sakte Dør is darker and heavier, yet still manages to feature another audience participation-worthy chorus, and features a commanding lead vocal from Aslak Heika Hætta Bjørn. He stars throughout, actually, being the possessor of a strong but crucially flexible and versatile voice that is able to handle any of the styles the band employ with ease and style. The boy’ll go far if he wants to…
One drawback for Anglophile ears is that every song is sung in, I presume, Sami; so when you sing along – and my word, you’ll want to sing along – unless you are au fait with that particular dialect you’ll be reduced to shouting sympathetic noises and punching the air self consciously, but that’s a small price to pay for being in the presence as such genuinely exhilarating music as this. The best punk is always an immersive listening experience, and Natur certainly provides that. Top notch.
Natur will be released on March 9th Through Fysisk Format