Roht – “Demo” Cassette

Paradísarborgarplötur (PBP) is one of my favorite Icelandic labels. Perhaps best known recently for putting out music by the punk band Börn, they’ve been on the cutting edge of fiercely independent Icelandic music for years in support of bands/performers like Kvöl, Ofvitarnir, Norn, and Þórir Georg. Fannar, who is Börn’s drummer, is one of the forces behind the label and has turned me on to a lot of cool shit over the last couple of years, not to mention helping me score some Fighting Shit CDs a while back. If you want stuff that is both hard and original, PBP has it.

One of the label’s newest releases is a five song demo tape by Roht, which is fittingly titled Demo. Roht’s Bandcamp page describes them as black metal, industrial, and punk, but after listening to this 10 minute scorcher a couple of times, I’m not quite sure how to categorize it… which is often a good thing. Demo opens with “Ekki Snerta Mig,” which definitely brings a heavy industrial vibe with sort of Skinny Puppy horror merged with those kind of sterile Big Black beats. By the time we get to “Einu Sinni Of Oft” it has turned into a full frontal sonic assault with anguished vocals overlaid on top of relentless militaristic beats. I think Roht are coming to take my soul. By the time you reach the modulated voice at the end of the final song, “Hundar,” I wasn’t sure if I was glad to have a reprieve from the attack, or if I masochistically wanted to go back for more. (♠)

Industrial beats, black metal vocalizations, and an overall punk attitude… I guess Roht were more spot on with their Bandcamp genre tags than I originally thought. And if you’re willing to risk your eternal (or not so eternal soul), you can check out Demo only for free HERE, and even buy a download for any price you want.

(♠) Turns out I’m a masochist. I immediately flipped the tape (both sides have the same five songs) and listened to the whole thing again.

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