Jagged Vision’s debut, ‘Harvest Earth’, is an underrated gem, a ferocious blood-under-the-fingernails blend of sludge, black metal and classic rock that sounds like someone applied a Behemoth snapchat filter to Black Stone Cherry. Follow-up ‘Death Is This World’, however, largely abandons those classic rock tropes, opting instead to scorch and salt the foundations with blastbeats, straight-up doom and a desolate stoner grind. With teeth bared from start to finish, it snarls like a wounded beast that knows you are the cause of its suffering and is out for revenge. Simultaneously faster and slower than its predecessor, the album swings from death ’n roll rampage to a thick swampy, funeral dirge in an instant, often in the same song, putting the listener in a constant state of unease, never more than a drum roll away from death or glory. It’s a jarring experience, but also an exhilarating one that takes the Norwegian passion for blending black metal and stoned hardcore to extremes hitherto unknown. Overflowing with riffs from the High On Fire colouring book and blastbeats that threaten to flay the skin from your inner ear, tracks like ‘Betrayer ‘and ‘Forlorn’ come across like The Cumshots breaking up with Gojira, while ‘An Emperor Of Foul Intent’ swims deep in the waters of Mastodon. As a stand-alone, album highlight ‘Serpents’ is good, but in the context of the whole, following what has come before, it is ethereal, a succulent and demonic act of catharsis that hoards all the best bits of Jagged Vision like a greedy black metal squirrel, spunking the lot in two furious minutes before collapsing in the corner, spent on its own bloodlust. Following the disappointment of Kvelertak’s ‘Nattesferd’, it would be easy to wish ‘Death Is This World’ be the album Jagged Vision’s countrymen couldn’t deliver, but it is so much more than that. The best albums take you on a journey, and DITW does exactly that, albeit dragged by the hair into ever darker and deeper cellars, like a hapless hitchhiker on a full moon. A bleakly rewarding descent.