Sweden's Rimfrost take a different approach to the frozen north than many of their thematic peers, in that they sacrifice a lot of the brazen folk melodies, pomp & circumstance to provide a solid black/thrashing. The glory here is delivered straight through the band's energetic discharge...and there is a huge influence of German thrash metal here that truly works with the subject material. Perhaps the best comparison is to Immortal, who also have a very punchy style to these rhythms which Rimfrost excel at. Veraldar Nagli, the band's second full-length effort, has a cool tone to it which feels very authentic but well balanced. The guitars are boxy and the drums crash about, while Hravn's vocals unsettle through a powerful, emotional snarling.
A good band, and another good pickup for Season of Mist. Title track "Veraldar Nagli" provides for an immediate confrontation, hostile and thrashy and ready to punch your kidney in with the hilt of an oak hewn battleaxe, before reversing direction to cut your head clean off. The riffing is like Immortal meets Witchery, a frigid and diabolical slew of palm muted frenzy. "The Black Death" reveals a bit more of the band's Norse glory, a galloping mid-paced rhythm which rolls into black chords and double bass. "The Raventhrone" is right back to the thrashing, thick guitars (here they sound like Iced Earth, sans mediocrity). "Legacy Through Blood" has 3 minutes of acoustics, percussion and atmosphere delivered through a synthesizer, before the war drums pick up. It's about 9 minutes in length, and mostly slower thrash rhythms. "I Stand My Ground" and "Mountains of Mána" pick the pace back up, both solid throttlings, and "Scandinavium" is another of the longer tracks (8+ minutes) with slower riffs and acoustics. The closer, "Void of Time", has a glorious, charging gait, and you can subliminally feel the winds of old howling through the silence above its spread of punching rhythm.
I enjoyed my time with this, and would recommend it to fans of Immortal or the late 90s material from Enslaved (in particular Blodhemn). It offers further proof that not all Viking metal must be laden in synthesizers and excess folk instrumentation to succeed, and the thrash-like influence is welcome. Not every riff is great, and to be honest there are times where some of the excitement lapses off (in particular the longer tracks), but certainly enough meat on the tired bones.
Highlights: The Black Death, The Raventhrone, Mountains of Mána, Void of Time
Verdict: Win [7.5/10]