REVIEW: Ondt Blod - Natur


To preface this, I do not speak any language common to Norway – so I can't really give a accurate opinion on the lyrical content. Which is a shame, really. Usually, though I often refrain from political discussion and arguments, I find interest in hearing about the opinions and situations occurring in places besides the United States and Canada. Oh well, what a shame.

Ondt Blod is a hardcore, almost metalcore, band from Norway. The reason I say they are almost metalcore, is because 'Natur' happens to feature a good bit of actual singing from both the vocalist, Aslak Heika Hætta Bjørn, and even some female backup at times. Okay, so, it pretty much IS metalcore. But, that doesn't really detract from the overall experience... unless you dislike that particular genre. Nothing about the vocal style is bad, nothing about the singing is bad, it all meshes together quite well with the harsher vocal style in a rather cohesive manner. When it comes to foreign speaking bands, I tend to treat the vocals as a instrument or effect, and in this regard I found them quite enjoyable.

'Natur' boasts a rather wide variety of styles at times, almost always incorporating metal and punk. What really impresses me is that the band sometimes delves into the sub-genres of either. At times, yeah, it's pretty standard fare – nothing you couldn't hear elsewhere if you want to. But the personal touches are what counts with Ondt Blod. You could be listening to a simple punk-influenced progression, only to be hit with a heavy hitting dissonant section that sends you reeling. On the other side of the coin, softer sections can be surprising as well (especially since they never devolve into something so mundane as a piano solo) and, mind blown, the energy of the band is never robbed by ballads or awkward experimental tracks. Sure, there is a place for those sorts of things, and bands that can pull them off, but Ondt Blod doesn't take the risk – and is all the better for it.

Ondt Blod was a pleasant surprise for me, and I think it will surprise you as well – so long as you are open to more metalcore styled songs. In all honesty, I'd scantly call the group hardcore, perhaps they were more on their debut album, but that really doesn't matter. It's Norwegian metal with style, more of a mainstream appeal, and probably one of the few I've heard from the area that isn't black metal.