Malokarpatan - Nordkarpatenland CD


Though Malokarpatan’s first album, Stridžie dni, was absolutely fantastic and is a recent favorite of mine in the genre, Nordkarpatenland absolutely dwarves it in just about every way possible. The songs are more ambitious, better written, better produced, and though it’s strange to hold up a lack of convention as a beneficial trait, less tied to black metal; Malokarpatan has stepped outside of the boundaries of their chosen genre to deliver something that’s impossible to really narrow down or box up, because these mad Slovaks, much like their musical ancestors, care more about making rocking and drunken evil metal than they care about sounding like any particular band.

Riffs range from the galloping, fast horror of the faster Mortuary Drape songs to plodding, groovy classic heavy metal ones, and sharp Mercyful Fate influenced leads pop up over horrifying rhythms similar to those of pounding early Bathory songs. Black Sabbath type trilling doom rhythms crawl in a decidedly more evil context before speeding back up. Harmonies come in to extend a cool riff, synths carry spooky atmospheric sections, and refreshingly, tremolo picking takes a backseat to heavy riffs and leads that don’t at all rely on it.