I have to admit, I have haven't been overly enthralled with anything coming out of the Darkthrone camp in quite some time, but this side project put together by guitarist/vocalist Nocturno Culto called Gift of Gods is certainly a step back in a direction that brings a smile to my face. Not that Receive sees the man also known as Ted Skjellum moving back into classic early '90s Norwegian black metal, but it's far removed from some of the more recent punk/thrash/black metal hybrid that Darkthrone has been toiling in. Four songs clocking in at around 30-minutes, Receive is high quality classic heavy metal with a touch of crushing death metal & doom thrown in for good measure. Performing all the instruments himself, Receive is a full sounding album and quite dynamic. "Enlightning Strikes" is a monster track, a metal anthem with huge guitar riffs, changes in tempo, ragged vocals, and thunderous rhythms, while the title track is a galloping, raging instrumental featuring booming bass riffs and layer upon layer of guitar textures. "Looking For an Answer" is a cover tune of an old '80s Swedish band called Universe, and again, the musical theme here is classic heavy metal all the way. Closing piece "Last Solstice" sees Nocturno Culto delivering some massive, almost doomy guitar & bass riffs over pounding drums and grueling vocals, reminding of some of Celtic Frost's more dirge-like material.
This is good stuff, and shows that Nocturno Culto is more than capable of going it on his own away from his main band Darkthrone whenever he sees fit.
1. Enlightning Strikes
3. Looking For An Answer
4. Last Solstice