Thursday, January 9, 2014


Tundra - In Cold Dimness
Eclipse Productions, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro
2. To Build a Reign
3. Total Human Collapse
4. Silent Fields
5. Christianity has Failed
6. In Cold Dimness

Tundra is a raw Black Metal band coming out of Italy. I think in the face of well produced Black Metal, Tundra are trying to take back some level of raw edge in the genre. I first found this project due to the large amount of splits they do, for me it was Inferno that led me to this project. I don't own the original 10" vinyl from Eclipse Productions, instead I own the repress on CD published by None More Black Records in 2006, which features the bonus track "In Cold Dimness." The original vinyl was limited to 350 copies and the CD version is limited to 1000.

I pretty much enjoyed the couple of tracks I heard from this band on splits, so I decided to pick up their entire catalog. I haven't given any of it a very deep listen, so this will be as if I experienced it all as it was originally released. "In Cold Dimness" is decently well recorded first effort. The production is raw and harsh, but this is probably intentional. Around this time Black Metal bands have started converting to using triggered drums and having fairly slick production, which I don't mind too much if the music is still good. A lot of bands, however, really dislike this and want things to stay in the harsh domain. For me I like both approaches as long as the music is well written and I must say Tundra is fairly well written music. As with all new bands forming with all the well written music in existence already it's hard to keep this consistent. The slower parts, like in the song "Total Human Collapse" I found to be fairly boring. On the other hand, I found all their faster stuff to be fairly well done and I actually quite enjoyed "To Build a Reign". Tundra do manage to capture that intense and primitive atmosphere of the early stages of Black Metal. The bonus track "In Cold Dimness" is a slow plodding instrumental and acts as a relatively decent outro to the demo. I don't know when the song was recorded, but the quality is basically the same level as all the other material.

While this debut didn't capture my ears every second it was on, there are riffs in "Christianity has Failed" that really stand out and I thought were quite good. This is one of those situations where I hope the band trend towards their stronger aspects in the future. I hope to hear what this band does in their future because it seems like they have a fairly solid foundation with only a little bit of tweaking necessary.

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