The word mord means "murder" in Norwegian. And appropriately, Christendom Perished is Scandinavian black metal in the traditional sense, with hurtling bone-saw guitars, barely human shrieks pealing low through the mix, and relentless, abusive drumming underneath it all. The two-man band Necrolucas plays drums, Nordra everything else blazes through eight tracks, each as punishing as the one before. Simply titled "Opus I" through "Opus IX" (with "Opus VIII" ominously missing), these aren't so much individual songs as they are a concentrated attack on the forces of good. "Opus I" follows an initial moment of silence with a pummeling blast of a beat that rarely lets up, making it clear within the first few moments what you're up against. Production has never been one of black metal's stronger traits, and it's the only real problem here. An album this gruesome demands a strong low end, and unfortunately, the only thing occupying that space on Christendom is a bludgeoning bass drum. This is especially noticeable during the album's slower sections, when the mix is rendered ball-less. But those slower moments are few and far between, and the album mostly blasts with such force and determination, you might just be thankful for the occasional break.
Cory D. Byrom writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].