Gryphonmetal (English), Eric Bron (English), Voices from the dark side (English), Megasin (Polish), Raw and Wild (Italian), Holymetal (Italian), Panzerfaust Zine (English), Music Extreme (English), Metalicos (Spanish), Underground Investigation (French), Pull the chain (Belgium / English)


Ice. Winter. Snow-covered mountains. White forests. These were my first associations when I heard the name  Nordafrost for the first time. “North Arise” is the debut-album of the trio which released only one demo called “Dominus Frigoris” before. This demo was of a very high quality and I was tensed if Nordafrost could top it. They did it. Svartis, Demonic and Sno extended and refined the arrangements, and the whole material is also more aggressive than the songs on “Dominus Frigoris”. 

The 10 frost-hymns on “North Arise” contain every trademark of the Nordafrost-typical way of Black Metal: lots of blasting parts, cold, freezing and crushing old-school riffs, an infernal voice and the atmosphere of old, pure Black Metal. Well, not too pure at all, there are also some Death and Thrash Metal – influences, but only a very few. The biggest inspiration of the German band is still old Immortal I think, but in general I can assume that Nordafrost created an own style of Black Metal with simple means, but with the most effect and the most intensity. 

Svartis’ voice is high, aggressive and sometimes it even cracks over. Great, and the good thing with his freezing, roaring and nevertheless melodic riffs is that you know after a few seconds who’s playing here. The production of “North Arise” is good, but still very underground and rough and the music is full of black charm.

Nordafrost have the bonus that they don’t appear as the very evil satanic devilish true Black Metallers but very sympathetic, native and it’s clear that the whole band has a lot of fun in performing their songs. Every song is a true highlight, so let’s have a look at some of them: “Amok”, the opener, starts with a short riff-intro, then blastbeats appear and Svartis screams his black soul out of his body. The rhythm is always very driving, the song contains the Nordafrost-typical cold riff-melodies and there are also some acoustic guitars in the background. Fine beginning! “An Apocalyptic Philosophy” contains fantastic stop-and-go-riffing, starts slow, before again the blastbeats rule and the song has some midtempo-parts which return from time to time. “On The Shores of Grey” contains the best and most aggressive chorus on “North Arise”, a Black Metal-crusher with a pumping bass and these ineffable freezing riffs, most of the time in bangy midtempo except for the chorus. Hateful and destroying! “Defence” is the first song which is slower, great midtempo and Death Metal – influences mark this roller. “Dungeons” starts slow with Death Metal – growls, before the song turns into Midtempo and then into pure Black Metal. And again, these cold, bangy riffs, aaaaaaaaargh!! Just fantastic! “Dominus Frigoris” (hasn’t anything to do with the demo) starts with clean guitars which spread a feeling of total North, before the song turns faster and contains a lot of tempo-changes. “The Hall Of The Pagan Martyrs” reminds totally to the Norwegian cult-band Taake and contains the best melodies on “North Arise”. Attack of the nordic batallion! Again the band managed the perfect change between blasting parts and midtempo-moments. 

Well, well, “North Arise” is a real highlight of true, old-school and authentic Black Metal and again, I have to ask myself: Will Nordafrost top this again?

rating:   8.9/10


Eric Bron:

First of all, the production is excellent, and the presentation and artwork are very complete (lyrics, photos, good logo band, etc...) and well done, in pure Black-Metal style.

Musically, "Amok" is a great powerfull melodical Heavy-Black track, which perfectly begins the album with great riffs and very good rythmics (what drums !!!) . "An Apocalyptic Philosophy" sounds more Trash-Black, very direct and efficient, with very interesting and various vocals. I really appreciated the title "On the Shores of Grey", in a kind of Epic Black-Metal style, which makes me think to some Immortal's track, in the changes of rythms and main qualitiy for a very good track indeed !!! "Defence" sounds fuckin' Heavy (what riffs !!!), nothing else to say !!! "Dungoeons" shows the more "loud" and peasant style from Nordafrost, with some initial Death-Metal intonations, completed by good ultra Black parts which litteraly explodes with ultimate but still melodical riffs/drums; great !!!  "My Sun" makes me think as if Iron Maiden would start playing Black-Metal, with its "metronomical" rythmics and great guitars; original and interesting indeed !!! "Dominus Frigoris" sounds "Scandinavian"  to me, with very interesting vocals in the chorus. "The Hall of the Pagan Martyrs" sounds great too, always with great guitars parts dedicated to True and sincere Black-Metal, and so is too "Ruler of a BlackRealm". At last, "Dawn" perfeclty closes this good album, with a kind of ultra headbanging Heavy-Black track. So, my opinion 'bout your work is very positive indeed, and Nordafrost is really a good hope in the German and European Black-Metal stage !!!

Voices from the dark side

Frosty Black / Death Metal from Germany offers this young band on its debut full-length after releasing only one demo, the already very promising and professional produced MCD “Dominus Frigoris” in 2003. Grim vocals comparable to later IMMORTAL, cold and melancholic moods Swedish Black / Death spawned in the 90s, aggressive fast drumming and a mixture of epic melodies and thrashing riffs that never loses its driving power should be a sufficient definition of NORDAFROST’s sound. Production-wise you get a crisp and clear yet heavy sound that offers not a single weak spot, absolutely flawless! The only thing I dislike are the growls in ‘An Apocalyptic Philosophy’ and ‘Dungeons’, they are a bit out of place and don’t really fit into the NORDAFROST-sound. Fortunately these are only two songs out of a total of ten and with the atmospheric icy hymn ‘On The Shores Of Grey’ or powerful, rousing tracks such as ‘My Sun’ or ‘Ruler Of A Bleak Realm’ NORDAFROST should capture the interest of anybody into well-crafted down-to-earth Black / Death without any musical or image-extravaganzas. Visit the bands website or the one of the label to find out more about this talented act and download some appetizers…

Stefan Franke

Megasin (PL):

Raw and Wild

Nordafrost, un gruppo black metal tedesco per nulla malaccio anche se segue pedissequatamente i canoni più ortodossi del black norvegese. Il collegamento con la scena black metal scandinava è subito percettibile guardando la copertina e leggendo il titolo, 'North Arise'! Northern darkeness rules! Chi l'ha detto che il black metal tradizionale è morto?


Esordio discografico per i Nordafrost, che coincide anche con il primo full lenght prodotto dalla giovane label tedesca Heavy Horses Records.

Come si intuisce facilmente dal monicker e, soprattutto, dalla copertina in perfetto stile darkthroniano, questi tre tedeschi sono dediti ad un feroce black metal di matrice scandinava che però ha il pregio di lasciarsi ascoltare con estremo piacere nonostante non si presenti come un prodotto originalissimo.

Ciò si deve soprattutto alle discrete capacità della band in fase di songwriting, così da donarci dieci composizioni fresche e ariose che si lasciano andare a felici contaminazioni death e thrash, supportati da una produzione al passo coi tempi e solo lontana parente delle registrazioni "artigianali" delle uscite underground più intransigenti.

Eccezion fatta per un paio di passaggi a vuoto nel finale dovuti all'eccessiva ridondanza dei brani (Ruler of a bleak realm e Dawn non aggiungono nulla e, in particolar modo l'ultimo pezzo, risultano inutilmente prolissi) il terzetto dimostra di aver imparato alla perfezione le regole per sopravvivere all'interno dell'ormai affollatissimo panorama black.

L'accoppiata iniziale getta sul tavolo subito le carte migliori dei Nordafrost, riff tiratissimi ma innervati da una sottile componente melodica che li avvicina per certi versi ai Dissection, uno screaming selvaggio al punto giusto che si alterna raramente con un growl ributtante al limite del cantato brutal. Più in là con l'ascolto ci si può imbattere anche in tempi più rallentati, fatti di stop'n'go e ritmiche marziali (On the shores of grey), brani black fino al midollo (The Hall of the Pagan Martyrs) che tradiscono la passione per la vecchia scuola norvegese e altri dalle atmosfere opprimenti e nere come la pece (Dungeons) ; il tutto senza mai snaturare il filo conduttore che lega tutte le composizioni dell'album.

Detto che non sono la band più originale dell'universo e detto che si può essere interessanti anche senza dover necessariamente inventare qualcosa di nuovo, mi sento di poter promuovere a pieni voti questo debut album dei Nordafrost anche alla luce di alcuni momenti in cui emerge una personalità degna di colleghi ben più blasonati.


Panzerfaust Zine

Here’s another German band I review for this issue. Honestly I didn’t expect that German black metal scene is so fuckin’ huge, with so many better or worse bands around! Ha, NORDAFROST is one of the most interesting acts I guess. Simply when I’ve been flooded by all those primitive, damn raw and simplistic acts, it was great to get one, which focus more on great arrangements and fast, more technical and complex playing, combining fast furious black metal with slight death metal elements in the music. You could compare NORDAFROST to such bands as IMMORTAL, DISSECTION and even ENTHRONED, so I guess you’ll have a picture of what to expect in here. It’s well arranged piece of crushing music, which even if have fast intensive tempos mostly, doesn’t forget also about a decent portion of melodic fragments and even some choruses. Sound is very good, aggressive and perfect for that kind of playing… Honestly I see 2-3 songs as a little less interesting, like “Dungeons” for example, but most of the tracks, like “Defence”, “Dominus Frigoris” (hey, it sounds like “Unhallowed” he, he) and “The Hall of the Pagan Martyrs” are really great. So, whole “North Arise” is interesting and keeps my head banging, in the name of… what? Satan or trees” Ha, I have no idea what does NORDAFROST sing about, don’t have any lyrics, but clearly you won’t find rather any cruel, satanic devil worshipping here or even war themes. And it doesn’t disturb me at all, I enjoyed this album a lot, so what else should I need? Maybe another beer and nice slut licking my balls, ha? Well done, NORDAFROST!

70 / 100

Music Extreme:

Here comes pure black tharsh metal directly from Germany, a land where ll metal styles have been mastered. Nordafrost is an extremely aggressive trio whose music is really powerful and mayhemic from beginning to end. this guys have taken influences from eighties extreme thrash bands like Kreator or Destruction and they have mixed this influences with the more bestial balck metal of bands like Gorgoroth, Mayhem or Marduk, creating their own kind of black thrash metal with some death metal elements too. The rhythms here are fast and furious and are one of the trademarks of the band. Also here we have ultra aggressive guitar riffs that sometimes are combined with some more climatic phrases in order to add a darker atmosphere. The vocals are really extreme spitting all the lyrics with anger and rage. This is pure unholiness coming directly from the lungs of hell !!!


Nordafrost es una muy joven banda Alemana, específicamente de Hagen, Westfalen, formada en 1996 y que apenas cuenta con dos producciones oficiales: Dominus Frigoris del año 2002 y este North Arise del 2004, con el cual el grupo ha dado pasos agigantados dentro del mercado metal y que le vaió un contrato con el pequeño sello Heavy Horses Records.

Al escuchar el nombre de esta joven banda y ver la portada y título de su álbum debut, solo se puede pensar en hielo, montañas y bosques cubiertos de nieve llenos de lobos. Estamos ante un trío de Black Metal que nos presentan 10 himnos con características melódicas y composiciones a medio tiempo con partes rápidas y voces infernales típicos de la vieja escuela del Black metal.

Dado que es de la vieja escuela, North Arise carece completamente de voces femeninas o teclados, algo característico de muchas bandas de Black actuales, y donde se pueden escuchar unas pequeñas influencias de death y thrash metal. También se nota la influencia de una de las grandes bandas del género como lo es Immortal, sin llegar en ningún momento a copiarlos.

La producción del disco si bien pertenece a una banda y sello disquero underground, es muy buena, el disco tiene un sonido excelente, además el arte es completamente profesional (carátula a color, letras, fotos, etc.) al mejor estilo del Black Metal europeo. Svartis quien es el vocalista, también es miembro de otra agrupación alemana llamada Insignius.

Entre los temas a destacar están Amok la cual abre el disco, es una canción que combina muy bien el thrash y el black, Dominus Frigoris que nos remonta directamente a Escandinavia, una canción rápida y poderosa. On The Shores of Grey típicamente influenciada por el viejo Immortal y The Hall Of The Pagan Martyrs presenta buenas partes de guitarras rítmicas y batería, un himno al black metal.

Nordafrost no teme traer de vuelta el añejo Black Metal, adentrarse en las raíces del género y se convierte en una opción del más bueno y puro.

Calificación 90

Underground investigation

Avec les Allemands de Nordafrost nous restons dans le black metal un poil païen. Une base rapide assez entraînante avec une dualité de vocaux black (qui prédominent) et death, qui rend l’ensemble plus complet dans un sens. Les riffs sont bons et les morceaux bien faits. Le son est dans l’ensemble correct et bien équilibré. Cet album se laisse écouter tout seul, sans grande difficulté, car les riffs rentrent assez facilement dans la tête. On ressent une petite nostalgie pour la scène black de la première moitié des années 90.

Bref, un bon album où les dix titres se laissent écouter sans difficulté et qui est rempli d’émotion sombre. Si vous voulez quelque chose de classique mais qui fait son effet, et bien écoutez cet album et vous serez comblés.

Pull the chain

That Germany are delivering some very good black metal acts through out the years is no more a discover. Nordafrost are without any doubt one of the best newcomers, their second record shows a marked development from debut «Dominus Frigoris» MCD; the songs feature the same musical ingredients and the main influences can still be found in the Norwegian black metal scene of the begin nineties but they now have a more definite structure and there is also a greater variety of paces and atmospheres. Some death metal influences can now be encountered here and there as witnessed by songs as «Defence» or «Dungeons»). The music is still very catchy and mainly fast paced with nice epic backgrounds and competent guitar work The vocals are reminiscent of Abbath and as you can guess, perfectly fit the band’s musical universe. Despite the obvious connection with the Norwegian sound, «North Arise» manages to remain pleasingly personal and cohesive. Fans of Immortal or Panchrysia and the likes will no doubt find this album of interest. A band set to go far…