Incarnator was a black metal band from Norway, that existed for a
short time in the early 90s. Zypranius was responsible for all instruments and vocals, and did quite a good job of handling
everything. I first became aware of this band, many years ago, reading an interview with Euronymous of Mayhem. After being
mentioned alongside such bands as Darkthrone, Immortal, Burzum and Malfeitor, it seemed wise to assume that Incarnator must
be of some quality, or else this would not be spoken in the same breath as the aforementioned bands. It took quite some time
to locate someone with a cassette copy of this, but it was worth the search.
Released in 1992, the Nordic Holocaust demo contains only two songs. However, they are more than enough to satiate anyone with a
thirst for the oldschool black metal sound. There is a very strong influence from early Bathory. "Part I" actually sounds
nearly identical to "Born For Burning", from The Return... For some, this might be a turn off as certain listeners demand
something entirely unique from bands. However, as a fan of old Bathory, it's always a welcome thing to discover more music
in that vein. The riffs are quite familiar, but the similarities do not end there. The guitar sound is very close as are the
vocals. Zypranius managed to get the same raspy and serpent-like sound that Quorthon possessed in the old days. The song is
very powerful and there's enough of a variation from the original that influenced this to be worth listening to. As a matter
of fact, you may have a difficult time getting this out of your player.
The second song, "Part II" (this guy wasn't
terribly creative with the song titles, for whatever reason) is a bit slower and begins with the sound of cold winds blowing.
The bass is audible enough to add a more menacing feel to the music. This song appears to have some Celtic Frost influence,
mixed in, but it's not terribly overt. The cold winds continue to blow as the song progresses, and the pace picks up after
the halfway point.
"We burn their churches
Set the skies ablaze"
Nordic Holocaust is a very good demo of oldschool, filthy black metal that sounds like it could have been
released in 1985. For anyone with an interest in this style, this is highly recommended. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's
a solid addition to the legacy of the ancient ones.
(16 Feb. 2010)
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