Review: White Death – Iconoclast

Introduction

White Death – “Iconoclast”

Origin: Lappeenranta, Etelä-Karjala, Finland
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Werewolf Records
Release date album: 29th of December 2023

Onward in stride with the Devil and under the mark of true black metal do White Death make their way onto the scene. Strident in momentum and fueled by jerking off apparently…

“This new album is like the Anttila catalog. They sell all kinds of shit, from toys to furniture. The Anttila underwear pages were the most masturbated magazine in Finland. If you know what to search for, you can find it. You just need to try a bit harder to cum, but eventually, you will.”

~Vritrahn

How lewd… and undeniably black metal. After all, at the end of the day, it’s an f~cking rock show. However, what you’ve just read doesn’t truly translate into White Death’s music as it would your typical Impaled Nazarene album? For White Death, the realization of the darkest art is a matter of tradition, of straying not from the beaten black metal path and of homaging the bestial. On December 29, as another cursed year comes to a close, and as new promises of nightmares fresh and despairing become ever-starker, White Death, in conspiracy with the ever-scrutinizing Werewolf Records, will unveil their latest offering, “Iconoclast”.

Iconoclast

Not really a matter of nostalgia here, nor is it a throwback to early 90s legend as so many of you would love it to be. It took time for the Finnish style to develop into what it is today; a respected and recognizable brand, and “Iconoclast” is simply a representation of how that particular scene has grown over the course of decades past. And when a band can represent genre-growth all the while as they honor tradition, that is what’s called, say it with me now: TRUE BLACK METAL. And White Death agrees with it, as evidenced by the melody, the melancholy and the unbridled wickedness of the titular track and “Summum Bestiae”. The former a nasty cut that alternates between greasy black & roll defamations and rolling, Sargeist-worshipping melodic arrangements. The latter a harkening back to the early 00s – the days of “Satanic Black Devotion” and Horna’s “Sudentaival” – when the Finnish genre movement had firmly established its identity/momentum. In other words, prepare for nothing less than the genuine Suomi experience: rich and melodic, Satanic and powerful.

Satanic Warmaster, Azaghal… White Death? Worthy of such illustrious company, White Death are proving to be as they further their depraved descent into the deep and hallowed halls of the Finnish underground through the release of records like “Iconoclast”. And with no shortage of old-fashioned aggression: “Strife For Blood” and “To Die a Thousand Times” to raise those horns and whip you into a state of the purest Satanic rage. Passion! And underlying every comprehensive second of the recording, like the warmth of a hearth as it permeates the keep during the most frigid of nights, the soothing comfort of the purest Satanic energy penetrating the backdrop and into the atmosphere of each album cut like the morning dew as it evaporates into the air of a new day.

Conclusion

No shortage of thrills here, from the textured vocal attack to the layered guitars and just the overall tempo of the album. A compositional game of guesswork, but without the bewilderment of too many shifts in tempo or the repulsion of gaudy, overreaching arrangements. Proper black metal; the kind of stuff produced by the likes of those aforementioned and now by White Death, in the true Finnish way and with a touch of dark humor to boot. For us, it was the Sears Catalog lingerie section that gave all the guys a boner. “Iconoclast” is more like the nude Polaroids of your mother we found in your dad’s sock drawer – worthy of your time and to be shared with friends…

I rate this album an 8.5/10

Experience “Celestial” from “Iconoclast” right here as presented by Werwolf (Satanic Warmaster):

YouTube player

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