(Long Ago Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 None More Black! Italian black metal band Tundra pulls no punches on their debut CD, "Ansia." The recording is as raw as it can get without becoming a total wall of unintelligible sound. The first track, "Enter the World from the Path Below," is an intro of footsteps, low ambient strings, and a series of some of the most chilling screams I have ever head, the last of which, on hearing the first time, nearly made me drive my car off the road!
The disc then gets underway with old school black metal riffing in "Sfogo," which pretty much sets the tone for the whole CD. Scratchy high-end guitars race past simple but effective march beats on the drums. The songs often break down into the half-time feel on the snare drum, sometimes with steady double bass drums creating the "grooves," that, while slower, are no less ominous than the standard fast sections. The interplay and contrast of these vibes is the definition of Tundra's classic sound and musical character. One moment, the listener is in a trance from the speedy riffs, then comes the primal head-nodding riffs. Tonally, the songs go in predictable directions, but this is right on course for this genre.
This same pure, raw attitude is found even in the lyrics, which are more than just rehashed gore or blasphemy. Instead, they deal with dark mental and metaphysical themes a in simple, unadorned diction, which gives them a greater impact. It should be mentioned, on the vocals here is Barbarud, from the defunct Czech blackmetal band Maniac Butcher.
"Ansia" is everything one can expect from true black metal; direct, raw as fuck, and no superfluous keyboards and female vocal layering.