Posthum – The Black Norwegian Ritual

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Indie Recordings
Released: 2014
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The Black Northern Ritual


Morten – Drums
Mats – Guitars
Jon – Guitars, Bass, Vocals


1. Demon Black Skies
2. Condemned
3. To the Pits
4. The Black Northern Ritual
5. Vinter
6. A Disappearing Sun
7. North


Following on from 2012’s Lights Out, Norwegian black metal band Posthum return with another full-length studio album The Black Northern Ritual. This seven track, forty-minute offering is the Nannestad trio’s third release in their 10 year career.

Posthum have long made a point of not sounding like a Norwegian metal band, pushing themselves outside what you might usually expect from a more traditional black metal release. While this may be a phrase often banded around by bands, it slaps of simple words with the black metal scene as creative and diverse as it has ever been. The band seem to have a adopted a sound that many modern bands on the scene are currently playing with, a solid black metal backbone with numerous influences and flourishes thrown into the mix but a solid footing in post-metal.

Sections repeat, cutting between blackened chaotic drum rolls with tremolo guitar before falling back into longer harmonic sections. Vocalist Jon Skare provides a suitably cold performance to match the icy backing created by the music. Really the only way to describe this music is cold, introverted and isolated. As the album progresses however, many of the songs follow the same formula and steadily fall into repeated structures and sounds that quickly blends together, meaning that no tracks really forges itself as a standout song on the album.

While the band have certainly tried to create a unique sound straying as far from the traditional Norwegian black metal sound as possible and footing themselves heavily in post-metal at points, what they have created is nothing that countless other bands have not ventured into before. This is still a great album but falls a long way short of the bands capabilities.