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Ildjarn > 1992-1995 > Reviews
Ildjarn - 1992-1995

Good introduction to Ildjarn' early work - 85%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, April 10th, 2007

This compilation covers a 3-year period in Ildjarn's musical development. All the songs you hear are very short, usually about 2 - 3 minutes, with only one song "Krigere" at the end coming near the 5-minute mark. In structure, the songs are very basic, almost ultra-primitive, with the rhythm section banging away without much variation at a steady clip. An early track on this set, "Kronet", is fairly typical: what you hear at the beginning is more or less what you hear close to the end though at some point in the song the bass drops out temporarily (in other songs, it'll be the drum machine that drops out for a while); and the song also shows Ildjarn's vocals at their most usual: extremely distorted and harsh like an especially embittered being who has so much bile and hostility against humanity that you can hear it searing through him as he sings. Then you get tracks like "Himmelen Svartner" on which Ildjarn's vocals are very whispery though the hatred is still there.

With such a basic template, the music turns out to be varied in the sense that each of the 28 songs has its own distinctive rhythm and style. In its own severe way the music is well-crafted and shows some folk music influence. "Himmelen Svartner' and "Der det Skjulte Lever" are two of a number of songs that have shaking-rattle rhythms though the latter track mentioned also has a strong bass groove that's almost dancey. A bit later in the cd, "Morket Slynger Seg", also featuring shake-and-rattle percussion, has an ominous guitar riff and is followed by "Skogrommet" which has a great driving riff. Then you get a number of songs spread out through the cd which are very ugly and bludgeoning affairs with pile-driving beats and extremely gruff vocals.

Other songs to look out for include "Tazkeheim" (fast, almost cartoony rhythms); "Visions of the South (2nd Returning)" where the rhythms do change throughout the piece while the vibrating guitars stay steady; "Skogssvinet" which has no drum beats; and "The Blade Flares in Red Light", a really ugly and violent-sounding though restrained piece with ogre vocals. After twenty or so songs, you'd think Ildjarn would be running out of ideas for ur-minimalist primitivism and then he comes up with "Svarte Fjell" where the rattling percussion is near-industrail and guitars assume a hovering menacing presence. The whole song is relentless machine-like and you can only wonder what Ildjarn might have been like if he got himself a sampler, synths, a keyboard computer and stacks of recordings of real machines and urban noises and went completely industrial.

The last song "Krigere" is quite unusual in mixing long guitar drones in with the constant rhythms and is the one indication of "progress" in Ildjarn's music. The cd package gives no indication of when each track was recorded so for all I know "Krigere" might actually be older than most other songs here. No matter: with Ildjarn, "progress" doesn't figure at all in the sense of greater sophistication in playing instruments and writing / arranging songs. Ildjarn has already built up a substantial reputation in a career based around unvarying rhythm textures and simple melodies and riffs with just guitars and drum machines.

The music being so raw and intense, and so full of anger and venom, and the style being so severe to the point of being ascetic, this album won't have a wide appeal but it's a good introduction to Ildjarn's work.

Harshest Beauty - 80%

Perpetual_Winter, April 2nd, 2005

So you like grim black metal, eh? Well, if you like this you are definitely in a small minority of even metal fans. This is minimalism at its minimalistic. There is only 1 maybe 2 riffs per song, the vocals are beyond unintelligible (not to mention in Norwegian), the drumming has no real changes only 1 maybe 2 beats per song and the production is, well take a 4 track and crank up all the levels and record (anyone who thinks Ulver – Nattens Madrigal is rough needs to hear this). Not to mention there are clear production changes in a lot of the songs. A lot of people would call this noise, but for some odd reason I really really like it.
“1992-1995” is a compilation from all of Ildjarn’s works, all of which are out of print and highly sought after by a few hardcore black metal collectors (including myself). All of the songs on this album follow the basic formula I outlined above and most do it at a mid to fast pace that is typical to black metal. Occasionally feedback enters the mix, which could be intentional, but my guess is it was in the take and Ildjarn doesn’t care. Really the feedback doesn’t seem too out of place considering the overall feel of all the songs.

I can’t say that this guy influenced any of the legendary bands because his work came out after classic albums by Mayhem and DarkThrone so he doesn’t have that going for him. What he does have going for him is pure atmosphere. There is something about this music that can put me into a trance. As I listen to it right now I’m stone cold sober yet I feel as if I’ve been hitting the bowl. Ildjarn is probably the “coldest” black metal I’ve ever heard and this will definitely not appeal to even most fans of black metal, but this is a band that I will idolize for its purity and rawness. This is not metal meant to be understood by the masses. Are you one of the privileged few who can embrace the simple harsh ecstasy of Ildjarn?

A Grim Compilation. - 82%

TheBigDizzle, September 6th, 2004

I have not heard all that much of Ildjarns work, infact this was my first taste of what he has done. From what I can gather though, this is a well put together compilation of his earlier stuff which any fan of raw black metal would do well to pick up.

Ildjarn's music here is very dark and incredibly raw, the vocals he uses can be very screechy at times, or sometimes just sound like usual black metal vocals. There is not much technical skill displayed with any of these songs. I'm not saying that they are boring pieces of crap, but they also aren't masterworks by any stretch of the imaginiation. This does not need technical skill to be good though, the simplicity of the riffs and the raw, screechy vocals, help it make an atmosphere, an atmosphere of darkness and coldness and grimness.

All the rest of the instruments are played very simply, which is exactly what this album needed, the drumming is just a bunch of simple beats. The bass on this album, while simple, is actually very well heard at times which is nice and it gives the already hard to hear music a little more definition.

A lot of people may not be able to get into this because of it's raw production. Everything sounds absolutely distorted on this cd, so if you like the raw stuff, pick this up, otherwise you might want to give this a quick test listen, or just avoid it all together. A lot of the songs don't nessecarily sound different from one another, but for an actual standout track, give 'Chill of The Night (Returning)' a listen, it has almost a psychedelic feeling to it which can really immerse you in the music, so this release simply gets more points for being able to do that at certain times.

This is a good release to see just how raw, raw black metal is capable of getting, it shouldn't hurt your ears at least to give it a listen, so maybe check it out if you want so black metal that is a somewhat better than the standard stuff, or if you just want to hear some grim as fuck black metal. Either way, black metal fans can do no wrong by adding this to their collection.