Offernat EP

Written by: RUB on 11/06/2021 11:38:15

New bands are forming left and right in Denmark, and perhaps largely because of the ongoing pandemic, many of them have even managed to pull a larger part of their resources together, write some music, and get it released quicker than is usually the case. For the band in question, Offernat, this has led to the arrival of their self-titled début EP, and although the band is no more than just a single year old, the first words that immediately popped into my head when spinning it for the first time were interesting and different.

Not able to get any hits on the band, I didn’t quite know what to expect apart from what written material the promo copy contained. So, when the first track “Submissive Impulse” aired with its very masculine guitar riff and testosterone-fueled drum pattern, it was clear that we’d entered the realm of hardcore punk. It is angry and raw, and makes me think of a blend between Toxic Holocaust and Havok. It is also catchy, but without sacrificing any of the energy or attitude that are customary for the genre, and definitely a great way to introduce yourself as a newcomer. And as the ending of the track goes show, it isn’t all balls to the wall either, as it ventures into a more stoner and doomier type of territory the further it progresses, and that actually makes a lot of sense. You see, the songs here actually work together despite being very different in terms of their genre affiliation. The second track, “Black Lung”, continues this slow-paced build-up with shorter and intensive bursts of aggression and energy. Here, the cleaner vocals fill the soundscape, which packs a riff and drum sound not unlike that of High on Fire, but also clear and quiet progressive elements. Again, there is more than meets the eye in this piece, as the vocals in the chorus are all but clean, bringing back the aggression from the former track and continuing to tie it all neatly together. Next up, there is yet another change in style in “Nattefrost”, with a classical guitar starting this shorter interlude before the final track. This build-up seems quite fitting, as “Shadow of Flame” then presents a very slow-paced piece that is still reminiscent of High on Fire, but also makes you think of the way Darkthrone have sounded on their more recent, doomy releases. This clear highlight and mastodon of a track clocks in at almost 10 minutes, and should cater to a large and diverse crowd. After a definitive progressive change in pace, the track picks up again and hurls even more sludge and black elements with plenty of tremolo and blast beats into the mix, and it seems clear to me it is either this or the purer and perhaps more straightforward hardcore punk sound Offernat should pursue in the future.

My general perception of the record is thus that it is raw, unpolished and angry, but at the same time progressive and original in many ways. Firstly, the mix of genres and elements is plain for anyone to hear. It might be a matter of taste, but I like it when a début release catches you completely with your guard down and produces tracks that are all completely different, combining a plethora of genres, but that nonetheless contain some additional elements that intertwine the entire album into a melting pot of guitar, drumming and some very potent vocals — much like my first live experience with the Danish post-metal band (0) was. Since the EP was recorded at the Black Tornado Studies in collaboration with Simon Sonne Andersen (of ORM), he tried to capture the raw energy of the live setting – and this is achieved quite successfully on “Offernat”, if you ask me.

By touching genres like hardcore punk, black metal, prog and post metal across just four songs, the band has managed to accomplished the first hurdle as newcomers: to stand out. But by doing so, even though the EP only contains four tracks, they have made it stylistically a fairly muddled release, albeit it is still clear to me that they have given the effort some thought in terms of how to give such diverse material a more structured feeling. I want to address the elephant in the room, as I’m by no means negating the prowess of the band. I’m simply urging them to choose how they will go about any future release. What they should focus on going forward is settling on fewer genres, because with the material presented here, there’s little doubt that they know how to write captivating tracks. But in my book jumping from hardcore punk into the progressive soundscapes of post-metal and mixing it with black metal on the next track is just a tad too ambitious, especially when it is all done in the span of just four songs. Hopefully, the group can thus channel all of their ideas and energy into something more focused when they eventually release a full-length album, because if they can grasp a hold on the chaotic windmill of energy presented several places on this EP, they could definitely be onto something quite interesting.


Download: Submissive Impulse, Black Lung, Nattefrost, Shadow of Flame
For the fans of: Black Tusk, (newer) Darkthrone, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.06.2021

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