Abaddon magazine

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Tundra – The Mirror of Elizabeth

Label: Corrupted Flesh Records

Date: May 15th, 2021

I had my hopes up for a while there, thinking I scored the new Tundra release for evaluation. It’s been a decade almost since they slipped under my radar and I thought to reacquaint myself with the band. However, it turns out this EP has been out there for about five years already. As a part of a split release, but still.

Nevertheless, I haven’t heard the mentioned split, so as far as I am concerned, this is as good as new. Though I’m still wondering about what these Italians sound like today.

Anyway, as far as this release goes, I found no significant changes in Tundra’s sound to the early recordings. Perhaps the only difference is the occasional overly melodic passage. The rest is quite familiar to my ears.

What distinguished the band back when “Ansia” or “Primordial” came out is still present. It is the kind of black metal you should all be well aware of by now. The Norwegian kind. The early Darkthrone and Mayhem style.

I must say, for obvious reasons, I expected more of a Bathory worship here. But, apart of the very beginning of the first track (well, the second, the first one being an introduction), it is left out.

What else is there to say? Pretty much nothing. “The Mirror of Elizabeth” sounds just as you might expect. It is cold, grim, atmospherically correct, a fine mixture of blasting and mid-tempo parts, gathered with some doomy elements. “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” all over again, even if in sheer quality this EP falls short of the legendary masterpiece. Though the chanting vocals are done way better than Mayhem ever did them.

So, nothing all that spectacular, but a black metal recording done by the book. With the reputation Tundra already has, it should be no problem to spread sixty-six copies of this tape. As the release is also available digitally, there will still be a chance for everyone to enjoy it. If this standard second wave black metal is something you just cannot get enough of.