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Norway has a history of power duos—Darkthrone and Satyricon being the most prominent—but most of those groups play second-wave black metal. Anfinnsaas are different. On their self-titled debut, the instrumental pair draws from their homeland's most history style of extreme metal, but their arrangements are looser, and more expressive. One gets the sense that all six of their songs came as a result of extended improvisation, rather than memorizing riffs. Which isn't to say that before you click 'play' you should expect to hear a blackened Phish. Far from it. Am Rep style noise elements and extended pedal-and-feedback sections lend their sound requisite chaos. During the quiet bits, hints of their traditional folk influences shine through, but when the riffs kick in they also recall another European two-piece: Mantar.

Complexity plays second fiddle to atmosphere and feel on Anfinnsaas, but the band doesn't forget to punch you in the gut every so often, either.

—Joseph Schafer

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Anfinnsaas drops this Friday, September 18, via Autumnsong Records. Follow Anfinnsaas on Facebook.

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