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Til Evighet... - 86%

Noctir, December 22nd, 2011

Trelldom was among the legions of Black Metal bands that came pouring out of Norway in the mid-1990s. Once bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone and Burum blazed a trail, the darkened hordes gathered in the north and began doing their best to join in the assault on the light. Some were merely looking for a convenient bandwagon to jump on, in hopes of riding the wave of notoriety that the initial bands enjoyed. In some cases, however, those that came later actually shared some of the same sentiments, despite being latecomers. In the case of Trelldom, it would seem that they really wanted to contribute to the overall darkness that was filling the northern skies. Released in April 1995 on Head Not Found, Til Evighet... is the product of Gaahl's appreciation for the Second Wave bands such as Darkthrone, Burzum and maybe even Gorgoroth.

"Endløs Vandring Gjennom Evighet" starts out with an odd synth intro, before launching into a straightforward assault, similar to Darkthrone. Despite being quite short, it is a rather dynamic track. The fast sections, featuring tremolo riffs and blast beats, dominate the song while there are also mid-paced riffs that add some depth to the proceedings.

The next song is probably the best one on here. "Fullmaanens Hemmelighet" begins with miserable screams that are reminiscent of early Burzum or even Forgotten Woods. The haunting tremolo melodies are among the most memorable on the whole album, though interspersed with more old school riffing in the vein of old Celtic Frost. There is a definite Darkthrone influence here, as well, but everything is worked together in such a way as to create a coherent whole. Later on, the pace slows down and mournful riffs add to the dismal atmosphere, along with the anguished vocals.

"Disappearing Of The Burning Moon" starts out with a riff that sounds similar to something from Gorgoroth's Pentagram. It soon shifts to faster tremolo melodies, mixed in with thrashy riffs that seem reminiscent of Mütiilation. The pace slows down, late in the song, again giving it an increased feeling of gloominess.

"Sannhet, Smerte Og Død" starts with fast tremolo-picked melodies and blasting drums, accompanied by tormented vocals. It definitely carries a Darkthrone / Gorgoroth vibe, while also including some Bathory-inspired parts. There is an epic quality that attempts to seep in, but the particular melody that bears that feeling is buried in the mix and unable to really break through. The song succeeds in reaching such heights anyway, thanks to the mournful riffs that emerge near the end, dragging the listener deeper into the darkness. This is another one of the more notable tracks on the album.

Next up is "Taake", which is a shorter track that maintains a fast pace throughout. Most of the riffs here would not be out of place on Transilvanian Hunger. This is kind of average, though not bad in any way. It simply does not match the previous song, though it is solid as can be. The intensity grows as it progresses, building a sense of tension for what is to come.

"Sunset" starts out with another riff with obvious Darkthrone influence. Gaahl's session musicians are quite capable players, as everything is tight and precise, executing the musical ideas with full confidence. Though this track might seem short, it is about average length for this release and manages to accomplish a lot over the course of its brief duration. Near the end of the song, there is a part where the tremolo melody is alone and then joined by the rest of the instruments. This sort of technique is always effective, and helps to allow the listener to really focus on and soak in the riff. Even once the other elements return, your mind is solely concerned with the haunting melody.

"Chains Of Solitude" includes some miserable riffs, and does well to convey feelings of hopelessness and sorrow. As before, despite the length, there are many variations in tempo and a decent number of riffs utilized. This song absolutely contains the single most depressing melody of the whole album.

This is followed by "Frosten Har Tint Mine Smerter", which does not have the best vocal patterns, but is still decent enough. For a song that lasts barely more than two minutes, a lot is accomplished in this time.

The L.P. reaches its inevitable conclusion with "Til Evighet...", which is a mid-paced track that possesses a dreary and sombre feeling, slowly crawling forth with a deathly vibe. The open chords at the end of the riffs help to add to the miserable atmosphere. The middle of the song is reminiscent of Celtic Frost, before shifting to a riff influenced by Burzum. This fades into a synth outro, which builds upon the miserable feeling that weaves in and out of this album, leaving things on a dismal note.

Til Evighet... is an underrated album that does a much better job than many of the other later bands to emerge from Norway, around this time. Though their influences are clear, they are worked into the music well enough to not detract from what is going on and the record really has a feeling all its own. While a lot of useless albums were being spewed from the north, during this time, this is quality material and is recommended for fans of Darkthrone, Gorgoroth and Forgotten Woods.

Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com

To Eternity - 100%

Farcus, June 29th, 2010

Trelldom’s debut 1995 album Til Evighet is the first glimpse we as listeners get of the band as well as the band’s now world renowned front man Gaahl. Like many of you I’m sure you discovered Trelldom through Gaahl’s involvement in “Gorgoroth” a much more renowned Norwegian black metal band. As a fan of his style I decided to give Trelldom a deeper look, and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

Trelldom is a band whose sound is very much akin to similar black metal bands of the time with their production and style of playing (i.e. Darkthrone or Burzum). However for me what separates Trelldom from the other bands is Gaahl’s unique vocal style which over his career has evolved to encompass spoken word and ancient Viking singing. The other two members present for this release were session members from other bands who display tight playing and creative musicianship.

On this release almost every song has either raw cold or very catchy rhythmic black metal style guitar riffs. Some of the highlights for example can be seen on tracks such as ‘Disappearing of the Burning Moon’ or ‘Chains of Solitude.’ These musicians style of playing go very well with Gaahl’s vocal style of the time which can range from tremolo picking and blast beats to even slow haunting doom style riffs as seen on the title track ‘Til Evighet.’ The vocals are very different from the vocals that listeners would hear on Trelldom’s latest album “Til Minne.” Gaahl for the most part uses very high pitched shrieks which work to great effect with the music that goes with it. Despite this being very different I personally find it much more effective in capturing the true black metal atmosphere then his later attempts with Trelldom.

The structure of many of these songs on the album is also very well done with interludes and bridges. This is done to such an effect that not a single song on the album is boring. All have interesting combinations of music and vocals to make every song effective. The atmosphere on this album makes you think of a cold, dark, winter night with the ambient sound effects. The raw production also adds to this by making it even grimmer. The best example of superb atmosphere would be the outro to “Til Evighet” when the music transcends from the progressive black metal riff to a melancholic orchestral sound with Gaahl’s vocals still present heightening the intense atmosphere.

In conclusion I would recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of raw early 90’s black metal (in particular Gorgoroth, Darkthrone or Mayhem). Pick this album up or at least give it a listen. This album has everything a true black metal fan would ever want; raw atmosphere, excellent musicianship and interesting song structure.