The artwork prominently incorporates the word God, just in case there was any question about who the great deceiver might be, and the the lyrical themes are as anti-theist as one might expect. While there is not a lot that shocks about this record, there is an awful lot that satisfies.
While much black metal privileges rawness and primitive production, many bands falsely assume that this means that sloppy, rushed or incomplete songs are also desirable. Nidingr are well aware of this potential pitfall and instead have crafted every track on this record with care.
From the spitting, slavering viciousness of the riffs on “Oh Thou Empty God” to the triumphal swelling of “The Worm is Crowned,” every tone and texture is deliberately chosen. The more atmospheric touches are similarly well-deployed, especially the lighter touch on “All Crowns Fall.”
The real strength of the record is certainly the vocals. Cpt. Estrella Grasa has a tortured vocal delivery that is part anguished raving, part parable like a mad preacher. There is something unseated and unsettled about the delivery, as though at any moment the vocals could go completely off-kilter and break the song apart.
A rank slab of intelligent malevolence, Greatest Of Deceivers will surprise many with its cunning and violence. It's faults are minor – perhaps a little too much flourish and length, but this can almost be forgiven as baroque eccentricity. It's a fine, infernal piece of black metal for the darkest days of the year.
(released November 20, 2012 on Indie Recordings)