Two tracks, one of which is a Turbonegro cover (“All My Friends Are Dead”), hardly constitutes a return to form after a decade-long hiatus – but True Norwegian Black Metal stalwarts Carpathian Forest coupled this EP release with a number of live performances, including a headline slot at this year’s Inferno Festival last month. Factor in a forthcoming album release, LIKSKUE – Dødens Arkitekur, and the press release stating “THE FUCKING RETURN” makes a lot more sense.
Despite the ten years away from a vastly changed black metal scene, Carpathian Forest are still doing exactly what they did in the past: ugly, confrontational metal that combines the raw aggression of punk with the brutality and lo-fi misanthropy of second-wave blackened thrash. Even though history has shown the band more than capable of crafting solid atmospheres (“The Frostbitten Woodlands of Norway” off 2006’s Fuck You All!!!!) and melodic reinterpretations (their stirring cover of The Cure’s “A Forest” on 1998’s Black Shining Leather) this EP is a distillation of what Carpathian Forest has always tried to be: perverted, sickening and unapologetic.
So listeners may not expect anything fresh or new here – but Carpathian Forest are not trying to reinvent any wheels, nor even attract any new fans by the look of things. Apart from the quality production values, everything about Likeim screams ‘90s black metal nostalgia: from the mid-tempo groove rather than furious blasting, to the vocal samples employed, to the short-and-sweet compositions, even to the choice of band covered. And while all this necro unpleasantness brings a smile to my face, not everybody shares my sentiments when it comes to filthy, tongue-in-cheek black metal madness.
Likeim Track Listing:
01. Likeim (Corpse Stench)
02. All My Friends Are Dead (Turbonegro Cover)
Run Time: 5:29
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Without further ado, hear the song “Likeim” right here.