Named for the year that a plague hit Norway, 1349 represents one
of the rising stars in preserving old-school black metal.
The band formed in 1997, with an early lineup featuring guitarist
Balfori, who left and is now fronts
Eventually they attracted the interest of noted drummer Frost of
who eventually signed on as a full-time member.
After a debut EP came their first full-length album Liberation,
an exhausting, hyperspeed blast of old-school black mayhem
(no pun intended), featuring an inhuman drumming performance
from Frost and some of the meanest riffs heard in some time.
In keeping with old values, the production is very thin, with
the drums rather oddly mixed and the guitars sounding heavily
distorted and buzzy.
These guys aren't reinventing black metal, but they are as
good if not better than the bands that obviously influenced them
(think bands like
Liberation is among the finest raw black metal albums to
emerge in several years.