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Reclusive Norwegian outfit Slagmaur spent seven years give or take making their sophomore LP, Thill Smitts Terror. I recall listening to its predecessor, Von Rov Shelter after its release, and thinking that the music was good even though the record itself didn't really hold my attention. On purpose, I avoided returning to Von Rov Shelter after hearing Thill Smitts Terror, because this second record feels completely blanketed in the metal zeitgeist of 2017.

Thill Smitts Terror calls on black metal's history and the underground's current fascination with industrial music. Slagmaur's songs share dense, layered production and vague choral arrangements with both symphonic black metal and Deathspell Omega's coterie of disciples, but their steady, deterministic drums, and ever-present synthesizers seem kindred to Valborg, or even Code Orange. There's no frostbitten forests in Slagmaur's fairytale soundscape. Instead, the dilapidated industrial environments of the 'Silent Hill' video game franchise comes to mind. It's the lind of record I can't imagine receiving any kind of hype five years ago, but it's exactly what black metal enthusiasts running the raw and atmospheric tape circuit ought to consider.

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Thill Smitts Terror is out on 3/31 via Osmose Productions. Order it here. follow Slagmaur on Facebook.

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