“The path we pave in the North has its foundation in the cross. The ancient rites will come to die, consumed by flames, replaced by light.”
A bold but sincere statement from these Disciples in the North known as Jernlov; words taken from a song of the same name. After some years since their debut, Crucified, Jernlov has returned with their sophomore release, Resurrection, which keeps the Cross of Christ and His restorative work at the heart of 10 songs that rip through the coldest of hearts.
Resurrection begins with the song Resurrection. Clocking in at 5:17, it is a strong opener that showcases what is to be expected from the 9 songs to follow. With a subtle symphonic edge, it embraces the truth of the Gospel over icy blasts from the drums and a rich presentation of fast yet melodic riffs.
Just over 3 minutes long, Though I’m a Wicked Servant doesn’t forsake Jernlov’s melodic elements altogether but definitely shows their ability to shred through riffs in a somewhat rawer black metal sound.
Lost Direction is a dynamic song lamenting over mankind’s failure to be good stewards of God’s creation. I say dynamic for there are some places where the song slows down to allow a shift in the mood to present a sincere call to God from a place of full accountability.
Disciples of the North starts with a classic black metal sound but stops its wintry assault long enough to allow a somber piano piece to draw the listener into the track’s hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. To this point, the vocals on the previous tracks were standard black metal vocals but Disciples of the North showcases some more guttural vocal lines.
Fortapt sees the language change from English to Norwegian. Fortapt is a passionate track of intensity and emotion where the lost call upon the mighty strength of the Lord, declaring Vår Frelser, vårt alt (Our Saviour, our everything). The clean vocals deep in the song add to the track’s emotional ambiance.
After You’re Gone begins with symphonic elements but quickly gives way to a cold blistering sound returning again towards the end of the track to lend creative depth.
Salvation is a song that starts off with a quickened pace of drums and guitars but soon a piano part enters into the mix over some of the catchiest riffs to be heard on the entire album. Towards the end, the shredding comes to a stop, allowing a gentle quiet and instrumentation to take center stage. As the keys melodically transform the feel of the song, it is only the quiet before the storm as the heaviness of the track kicks off again.
Faith tackles the subject of loyal service to God in what is the most symphonic and melodic song thus far. The extreme beginning transitions nicely into a slowed-down part allowing the symphonic elements and also some clean female vocals create a powerful composition friendly to the ears. As per usual, it is only a matter of time before the pounding of the drums and stringed instruments rip through to the end of the track keeping the piano and symphonic arrangements ever present through it all.
A King in Perpetuity begins as an acoustic number before yielding to a rhythmic metal groove with lyrics embodying imagery of warfare and bloodstained trials. Excluding the first two songs, nearly every track has been around 4 minutes long. A King in Perpetuity is one of the longer tracks clocking in at 5:09 and has a nice little melodic/semi-acoustic break with B.M. vocals layered perfectly on top of it all.
The Final Prayer is the album’s final track and also the first single from the album. The lyric video can be viewed here (at the time of this writing): https://youtu.be/6m4PZYjhme4 The Final Prayer is certainly one of the most headbanging tracks on the entire album. It is fast, brutal, and a great way to end.
All in all, this is a very strong release with a street date from Nordic Mission on June 23rd, 2023.
Some guest appearances include Ronny Hanielsen (Antestor), Claudio Enzler (Sacrificium), and Eero Tertsunen (Renascent).
If you enjoyed Crucified, then Resurrection is certainly a must-have for either your Bandcamp library or a physical edition.
While my first listen was on air pods, my second was on a 5.1 surround sound system. I must say, this is a record that demands to be played out loud. Nicely put together both in song structure and in production. It’s a great listen for any fan of black metal and certainly a welcome addition to the Nordic Mission catalog.
Review by: JR Rife, host of TMO Black (Sundays @10 PM PST) on The Metal Onslaught Radio & host of The Friendly Viking Theologian Podcast
https://www.facebook.com/RevRife/ & https://open.spotify.com/show/2WM8MlOGdQy75ORJ7iCozW?si=f101d26be48440c6 May 5th, 2023 for The Metal Onslaughthttps://themetalonslaught.com/ & https://live365.com/station/TMO-Online-Radio-a26867