It would be totally absurd on my part, even risky, to deny the importance that Norway had in the genesis of Black Metal, as we have it today. Useless debates about who shaped, who really created or stopped creating anything, are paths that I don’t want to take, such is the nonsense that travels through them. So: Norway & Black Metal in 2020. Yes, there is. Yes, it is quite above average.
Conceived in 2017, by Ghoul, Vinter and Svarter, since then, and between Demos, Splits and Compilations, have edited 30 releases. The productive capacity of this trio is undeniable. I do not know the quality of their discography, being limited to this new compilation that we present you here. “Svartskogen, Svartvinter / Dødssted” is the junction of the Demos originally released in 2019.
What do we have, then, here?! Ambient Black Metal as a constant presence of cold Black Metal, like the fjords of the country of origin. 4 tracks, 2 from each Demo, 2 distinct and demarcated moments: the Ambient side and the Black Metal side. Norway stopped creating good Black Metal?! No, not at all. Did some musicians “manage”, somehow, to get out of the sphere that “haunted” them for years and years, from TNBM? Perhaps. It will not be, at a first listening, and without prior knowledge of the band, one that I would have associated with the Norwegian scene, but this shows that the Black Metal universe, even in Norway, is capable of conceiving something that goes beyond its roots.
Cold and tearing melodies. The burns from the cold, the icy wind. That’s how I imagine the transition of this sound to something real and tangible. The production is lo-fi to give us that chill, while allowing us to assimilate each piece, each track, with due attention. The voice, buried in the mix, helps to create this satisfying discomfort, a feeling that is – or should be – natural in Black Metal.
Advise? Give due attention to this prolific project, it is capable of surprising you very well. (DanielP)