Those accustomed to seeking out underground black metal know there is an insane amount of it out there, far more than anyone could ever hope to stay on top of. For every noteworthy release, set aside a good half hour on a forum. You can drown in tapes. But when you strike gold, the hunt's worth it. Ormgård's Ormblot was one of those finds—first pressed to tape in a limited quantity, later to vinyl, now Ormblot is getting a CD release.

Sweden's Ormgård plays rock solid, big-time evil classic second wave black metal. You'd perhaps be forgiven (nothing's guaranteed in this world) for mistaking Ormblot for an early unreleased Emperor demo—like Emperor, the one-man band from mastermind Orm uses keys to create grandiose atmospheres. "Av Svartkonst & Fördärv," above, is huge in scope, "epic" without any negative connotations. Clever songwriting leaves room for some seriously headbangable moments, too, helping Ormgård to distance itself from a pack that can sometimes forget that there's nothing wrong with memorable melodies. Sweden's home to a number of super underground, uncompromising, ripping black metal—this time, we'll take the search work out of the equation.

Ormblot is out on April 7 on Forever Plagued Records, limited to 1000 copies.

— Wyatt Marshall

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