CD Review: Norselaw

Moon Hunters (self-released)

There's Norse Law, then there's Norselaw. And while the former is a hip-hop act that channels both Vanilla Ice and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the latter plays Viking thrasher metal. Now for the twist: they're the same band. Don't let the minute-and-a-half instrumental intro to this EP's opening tune, "Dungeonlurker," fool you; its acoustic, soothing style is no indication of what's to follow on the CD, let alone the rest of the song. Half way through, the track blisters into an intense rage of strings, drums, growls and opera style vocals. Making up for that assault on the ears, "The Demise That Came to Sarnath" actually follows a verse-chorus-verse template, along with adding a minute-long '80s hair metal style guitar solo. Consider it the stand out track if only because it's the cleanest sounding tune. From there, it's hard to tell a clear difference between the last three songs, but album-ending instrumental "Howl of the Direwolf" brings things full circle, and you're left to decide if you prefer the band's hip-hop alter ego. — Nikki Hunt