SKULL433

TSJUDER, Atum Nocturnem (1999, demo)

The skull:
This fanged fellow, emerging from the blackness and mist, would look a whole lot scarier if his eyes weren’t LEDs. If he leapt out at you you’d probably think, “Shit! How did I end up in Halloween Adventure?” before petulantly swatting him down and saying, “Knock it off!” And then he’d slink back into the shadows, his skully tears threatening to short out his diodic eyes, as he mumbles that no one thinks he’s scary and what good is a skull who can’t scare anyone, etc. He just needs to meet up with Rudolph and that dentist elf and maybe some holiday-themed redemption could be his.

The music:
“Tsjuder” is apparently the Norwegian spelling of “Chud,” although that sadly does not refer to cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers. Instead, it refers to any of a group of Finnic tribes from what is now Estonia. Doesn’t sound very evil to me, but what do I know? Anyway, Tsjuder are one of those black metal bands that has been around forever (they formed in 1993) and has a certain cult cachet, but who haven’t recorded all that much and whose main output came long after the peak of that scene. I never really cared to check them out, even though they’re fairly well known, and that’s worked out for me so far, because this is the kind of lame buzzy, braindead second wave black metal that I generally can’t stand. Strictly by-the-numbers stuff, corpse paint and all. I guess Immortal would be the closest point of comparison, but maybe there’s a more apt one to be made by someone more knowledgeable than me. Friar Wagner is our resident black metal experct, but I find it hard to imagine that he likes this all that much either. I think anyone still making exactly this kind of music in 1999 is unlikely to have been very clever about it.
— Friar Johnsen

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