Tsjuder is one of the unfortunately lesser-known bands in the second wave of Norwegian black metal, but they have gained quite a cult following since their formation back in 1993. Having previously released three studio albums and a number of EP's and demos, Tsjuder seemed to be on quite a roll until they disbanded in 2006. With the future of the band uncertain, they thankfully soon reformed in 2010 and began working on Legion Helvete as their comeback album. As expected, the music you'll find on Legion Helvete is just about as dark, evil, and cold as old school black metal comes, and fans of the genre are bound to be impressed by Tsjuder's latest offering. While it's nothing new for the experienced black metal listener, Legion Helvete is still worth a purchase for fans of the band.
Legion Helvete sounds a lot like the early black metal pioneers who took extreme thrash metal and added a few extra doses of evil. Bathory certainly wouldn't be a bad point of reference here, and the blackened thrash style just shines through on tracks like "Slakt". The music is just about as raw and evil as black metal comes, and there aren't any atmospheric tendencies or any of that on Legion Helvete - this is balls to the wall black metal, and fans of that style are bound to have a blast while listening to this album. I find Legion Helvete a bit too one-dimensional at times, and even though there are some great songs here, my mind wanders occasionally about halfway through. A little bit more variation would've been key to increasing my enjoyment - but, then again, that would probably defeat the purpose of what Tsjuder was aiming to do with this album.
Even though not all of Legion Helvete leaves me head over heels, this is still a pretty great effort from Tsjuder and I've had a pleasure listening to it recently. If you like primitive old school black metal, but with a few interesting changes and complexities in each song, you're bound to enjoy this observation quite a bit. The musicianship is great across the board, the raw production suits the music perfectly, and most of the album is a great example of cold and sinister black metal done right - I'd call that a successful effort for sure! 3.5 stars are very well-deserved, and I'll be curious to hear what Tsjuder offers us in the coming years.
1. The Daemon Throne
2. Fra en Råtten Kiste
6. Black Shadows of Hell
7. Blod og Aske
8. Vårt Helvete