Evil comes in many forms, and although a certain mode of malevolence can be hidden in plain site in order to entice a following, some forms are in-your-face, with nothing to hide, and are ready to test your limits of dealing with the powers of it’s unpleasantries. A good example of this – especially when it comes to music – is the pioneering black ambient artist, Nordvargr. Always seemingly pushing the boundaries of dark ambient, black & industrial ambient as well as other hateful, unorthodox sounds, Nordvargr has just released the punishing new album, ‘Daath’, and it’s here to cultivate a particular madness amongst the masses. From pounding percussion, heinous vocals and thick sounding tribal instrumentation – as if they’ve been dredged from the abyss – Nordvargr has conceived a soundtrack set to obliterate all that is good, and cover the wasteful ruins in a layer of audial soot.
“Inner Monarch Awakened” is like the calm before the storm, as heavy sirens awaken the dark forces to begin its destructive plot. Immediately we hear the influence of sickening, death metal style vocals and it’s outcome is simply massive. In the background, the music has a harsh industrial influence but is maintained at a sludgy pace. “The Horsemen Ride Out On Foaming Steeds” continues without pause from the first track. The vocals continue to be the main attraction but an underlying guitar riff adds another layer of intelligence to this song. Various vocal effects are used throughout making it the primary instrument of focus, as well as constantly increasing the creepiness factor until the end. “Tabernakelvisa – The Redeemer And The Secret” begins with a deep, tribal percussion pattern and sounds as if it could be taken from a fantasy film soundtrack during a scene where a great, fanatical battle was taking place. Thumping bass lines, more calamitous vocals and ghostly synthesized arrangements help provide a chilling vibe for this track. “Death Closes The Gate Of Time And Opens Those Of Eternity” features gristly, rhythmic patterns and more stellar vocals that tell a horrifying story in the most hateful tone. “Invocation Of The Unseen” features more of a dark/black ambient atmosphere and is like an interlude from the destruction set forth by the first half of the album. In addition, this track also serves as a preparation piece for that remainder of the album that will set a relentless pace. “As King, As Queen – When Kingdom Collide” sets an industrial-like sound with some inaudible vocal samples, while the main pernicious vocals scream out in pain. “The Light Of The Lord And The Black Sun Behind The Sun” slowly fades into some chaotic chanting and tribal percussion beats, with a lot of thrilling vocal effects going on. Droning, dissonant sounds can be heard in the background as this turns out to be one of the most eerie songs on the album. The final dirge on the album, “Where There Is Word, There Is Enlightenment” is a return to the superior sounds of dark ambient, as disorder and chaos have finally given way to desolation and ruin. Frightening sound effects and field recording can be heard throughout but ultimately, evil has prevailed this time around.
Nordvargr has created one of the most evil and punishing sounding albums I’ve heard in quite some time and what better label to release ‘Daath’ than Cyclic Law – home to some of the most viscous black ambient recordings around. Not only is this album unique, it is certain to have longevity in your playlist as well, as these tunes are fascinating to listen to and are just so well written. Please support this fascinating artist and download ‘Daath’ from the link below.
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