This exceptional alliance of distinguished Finnish hordes begins and ends with emotive, tortured collaborations involving both brigades (Jättäkää Minut Korpeille (osa 1.)’ and ‘Jättäkää Minut Korpeille (osa 2.)’, with six substantial and outstanding tracks in between – three from Förgjord on Side A and another mesmerising trio from Nekrokrist SS on Side B. Both bands bring their A game, resulting in a raw and majestic Black Metal record that is impossible to find fault with.

Rapidly emerging as one of Finland’s most thought-provoking and essential exports, Förgjord burst from the barrel with feral intent, the ten-minute ‘Kasketun Maan Laulu’ quickly confirming that at the peak of their powers, Valgrinder and his not-so-merry men are a force to be reckoned with. I’ve been listening to this band perhaps more than any other in recent months and – through single-minded perseverance and dedication to their art – they have crafted a discography that is near flawless.

The split with the criminally-underrated Nekrokrist SS was initially releases in 2014, in between Förgjord’s magnificent third and fourth full-lengths, ‘Sielunvihollinen’ and ‘Uhripuu’, with the vinyl edition following four years later. Unsurprisingly considering the penchant of too many Black Metal fans to purchase music based on hype, limitation and forum board recommendations rather than proper investigation and individual thinking, this record is still widely available in many distros some 30+ months after it became available.

On ‘Mieltensä Sairastama’, Förgjord demonstrate their uncanny ability to inject a smorgasbord of moods and sounds into one hymn, their versatility to the fore as the pace rises and falls, horror and melancholy never far from the surface even amid the more melodic passages, enough disgust and despair on display to bring chills to even the most optimistic spirit. Witness the pure, irresistible, soaring scorn and defiance of ‘Kerpeikkari’. Riotous and intoxicating, this is the inimitable Förgjord way and has been for two decades.

In the slightly rawer and cruder Nekrokrist SS, they have found the worthiest of acolytes. Since debuting with ‘Suicide’ in 2007 up until their third full-length, ‘Neljän Käärmeen Veljeskunta’ in 2019, these like-minded Finns have consistently delivered dark, nihilistic, negative Black Metal of the highest, most uncompromising variety and their contributions to this partnership almost match those of Förgjord, which is quite an accomplishment. Cutting to the chase, ‘Förgjord / Nekrokrist SS’ is a wonderful showcase of the very finest Finnish Black Metal from the bowels of the underground, with exceptional music comprising its full 55-minute duration.

Evilometer: 666/666