Snøgg – Chhinnamasta

Band: Snøgg
Title: Chhinnamasta
Label: Independent / self released
Release date: 6 June 2019
Country: Slovenia
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Promo

SNØGG has after 4 EPs and a demo released their debut full length album “Chhinnamasta”. Founded in 2013 by the core duo Mørke and Ulv. The Norwegian sounding names are intriguing, Mørke means Darkness, Ulv is Norwegian for Wolf and SNØGG means Fast in Norwegian. What causes Slovenian musicians to choose those monikers for themselves is not apparent in their musical delivery (apparently the pronouncing of SNØGG in Slovenian means snow, there we have some delicate wordplay). They describe their music as Freeride Black Metal, fitting to describe their no boundaries approach to BM, others would probably label them as Experimental or Avant Garde BM. Still unsigned, or perhaps willingly independent, to remain in total control of their music? Influences on this recording is stated by the band as Mastodon and SunnO))) on top of Darkthrone and Xasthur. Lyrical concepts have changed over the course of releases and for this album is Hinduism, mixed with everyday life events.

The 5 tracks with a total running time close to 45 minutes are long and varied. Focus is on atmosphere over a technicality. The opener “Y (Ddraig Goch)” is typical of the album, a lot is happening here, the variations in tempo and feel are interesting, keeping the listener on toes or maybe loses the attention of some? Easy listening it is not, atmospheric parts, fast parts and finally almost in the “noise” end of the spectrum. “Stream of Blood” continues much in the same way, before the odd ball out comes in the shape of “Void of Valor”. That track is shorter and doesn’t feel like it belongs there in a sense, as it is followed by “Phantom Mountain” where SNØGG is back on track. This album goes out with the strongest track; “Fear Beyond Death”, an absolute banger of a track, 11 minutes of glorious varied BM. An album named after a Hindu Goddess, performed by a Slovenian Band with Nordic names, throw in the experimental use of musical influences, and the result might be a strange and not very accessible one. That said, if the listener gives it the full attention it demands, the reward is waiting. This band is unsigned, not sure why that is the case, as there are plenty of signed bands that don’t reach this level. This is surely not the last time we hear from this band (hopefully they get a decent distribution). 8/10 Harald

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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