Black metal is at its best when it embraces the inherent lunacy of its genre. Fenriz (known as the drummer and lyricist of Darkthrone) as “Fenriz’ Red Planet” teamed up with Nattefrost (solo man also of Carpathian Forest) for Engagsgrill, a split that’s meant to bring a smile to corpsepainted faces everywhere.
Featuring archive stoner doom material from Fenriz with a Martian sci-fi theme, the Red Planet half of the split is the more interesting side, with charming demo-quality songs (like we’d expect anything else). Lyrically, it’s more serious than Fenriz’s Darkthrone material, but the surprise (if it is a surprise) are the stripped-down, fuzz-full Sabbath grooves he creates on these three songs. Half of the appeal is that the songs are by Fenriz as the riffs are the same as a thousand stoner songs, but these are awesome cuts all the same—particularly with the comical pitch-shifts on the bridges.
The second half by Nattefrost is dominated by hybrid black metal (also older material, culled from his archives) but it ventures into tongue-in-cheek territory as well. The Celtic Frost riff-worthy “Humiliated And Pissed Upon” is about as funny as Nattefrost gets, though “Sin Goddamit” gets fairly close.
In A Word: Egad