HistoryThe Tyrant and Hellbutcher twins founded Nifelheim in 1990. The band was inspired by the likes of Venom, Destruction, Hellhammer, Mayhem and others. Morbid Slaughter soon joined. Demon followed on drums and the band issued a 1993 demo called Unholy Death. Morbid Slaughter was kicked out “for having a girlfriend,” another four songs were recorded, but never released, and the band entered Studio Fredman. Necropolis Records signed the band and two records were issued through the label. The first one was issued in June, 1995. This release was delayed as Necrolord was late with the cover art. Jon Zwetsloot formerly of Dissection was a session member. The other Jon of Dissection contributed guitars as well. The band recorded a Vulcano-cover for the Headbanger's Against Disco 7" series as well as participated on the Gummo soundtrack in 1996. Necropolis Records had made the connection. Primitive Art Records issued the Unholy Death single in 2000. The band had left Necropolis claiming they were never paid. The band played its first concert as a headliner at the 2heavy4you festival in Sweden in 2001. The group followed it with other concerts in Europe. They have worked with different musicians since. The 2014 single Satanatas’s B side featured the A side played backwards.
Niflheimr (Old Icelandic for ‘Dark World’) is a realm of frosted cold in the far north of the world. Following a documentary about heavy metal fans, which was shown in Sweden in 1998, Tyrant and Hellbutcher were nicknamed “Bröderna Hårdrock" which translates to ‘The Hard Rock Brothers' in English. The brothers are big fans of Iron Maiden.
NIFELHEIM - Same - REGAIN
Originally released in 1994 but now re-released by Regain Records Nifelheim are or were purveyors of crazy black metal. Their influences are no doubt the likes of Venom, Bathory, Sodom, Possessed and countless thrash bands of the same era as one can really hear Mortal Sin style thrash here and there. Solos, runaway drums, guitars and vocals, speed, screams, and not so great production or sound...this really belonged to a time even before its original release date. Titles like Unholy Death and Possessed By Evil truly capture those earliest years. Die In Fire is a bonus song on this re-release and is further indication of the Bathory influence (which in turn were clearly influenced by Motörhead in this case) on the Swedes. 32 minutes of nostalgia. - Anna Tergel
NIFELHEIM - DEVIL’S FORCE - REGAIN
This is a re-release of NifelHeim’s second from 1997, three years after their debut. The first thought upon hearing the opener, Deathstrike From Hell, is a bit of a Destruction influence. Although there is nothing as structured as Destruction here and the song is really just thrashy black metal the aforementioned trio seem to have made a dent as the band’s inspiration. The Final Slaughter continues the thrash and black metal mix with craziness mixed in but also few moments of melody and control. Desecration Of The Dead, Demonic Evil, Satanic Mass, Soldier Of Satan, Devil’s Force and Hellish Blasphemy take turns being speedy, out of control and even melodic at times. Of course this wouldn’t be a re-release without an added or bonus cover and this time it is more of an obscure one in Vulcano’s Witches Sabbat which in turn does also sound like another band: Venom. - Anna Tergel
NIFELHEIM - SERVANTS OF DARKNESS - BLACK SUN
Sweden's Nifelheim is back having left Necropolis Records, having ditched a couple of members because they were tame enough to have girlfriends, seen a couple of Dissection members come and go, endured jail time, participated in another project called Pagan Rites and a Headbangers Against Disco 7' and is still delivering the most no-frills black thrash metal since the first three Bathory and first two Sodom releases. A Nifelheim album sounds like three Swedish necrophiliacs have rushed a studio, bashed the equipment at 200kph and captured a disparate black metal attack promoting primitive hate on tape. Oh yeah, it's good! The riffs recall Under The Sign...era Bathory and see the appearance of several NWOBHM and early Mortal Sin solos to boot. Simple and pounding, my only worry is that the guitars occasionally have a synthesized twang to them - remember early Bathory again? Otherwise this is the best test devised to ascertain how much metal grit you really possess. - Ali "The Metallian"
NIFELHEIM - ENVOY OF LUCIFER - REGAIN
Here at Metallian Towers a general formula has held true for years now. According to that principle, when it comes to Scandinavia, bands from Denmark do not last, bands from Finland are not even funny, bands from Norway are wimpy Depeche Mode hags, while Sweden rules all with molten metal. Case in point is the veteran act Nifelheim whose return after a long hiatus is a triumphant tribute to true black metal.
As if on cue, to fill the gap on the scene for noisy mayhem, Nifelheim returns with its first album since 2000’s Servants Of Darkness to spread simple, fast, attitude-ridden black metal through songs like Evocation Of The End, Open The Gates Of Damnation and Storm Of The Reaper. The album’s trump card remains the opener, Infernal Flame Of Destruction, which is a barnstorming excellent piece of musical onslaught if not a tribute to Germany’s Destruction! It comes as no surprise that members of Necrophobic perform double duty in Nifelheim. This is the type of purity that runs through Nifelheim. Having said that, the group shows plenty of HM influences with constant references to bands like Iron maiden or Motörhead. The song Claws Of Death - probably one of the album’s weaker tunes - even gets technical on the listener mid-way with a nod to Voivod or whatever. The vocals croak as if hailing from Germany circa 1986.
Dimwit Burger fans or Children Of Bottom groupies won’t warm up to this, but metal fans will because the latter get it. - Ali “The Metallian"