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Solid Funeral Doom with some noticeable hollowness - 81%

Wilytank, October 18th, 2011

(Originally posted by me to the Metal Music Archives: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/)

Here is Nortt, a funeral doom metal act that draws influence from black metal. I've heard a good amount of good things for Nortt's debut, Gudsforladt. Before listening, I did notice that none of the songs reach six minutes in length, which kinda worried me. But as it turned out, Gudsforladt was an intriguing trip all the same.

The intro "Graven" starts out with rainstorm samples. After a loud clap of thunder, the keyboards come in with the rainstorm still going in. The tolling of a church bell can also be heard. When this intro ends, the rainstorm plays right into "Doden". Opening with the rain and a weak vocal moan, the funeral doom gets kicked off to a start relatively quickly.

The vocals in the album are either seen in black metal growls/screeches or slow spoken word (lyrics are in Danish). They fit to the lyrics dealing with death, darkness, and solitude. Musically, the most prominant instrument in any of the songs is the keyboards. The keys are easily the most likely to make an impression on the album, and they vary from either piano to ambient-like synths such as those seen in the first two songs. The guitar riffs are pretty standard for the funeral doom environment, and they don't ever take any big leads.

Perhaps the biggest letdown of the album is the lack of variation or room for variation. The songs are short by funeral doom standards and only allow room for about two different rhythms per song. The keyboard fights hard to make the songs interesting, but it often isn't enough. I'm not saying that any of it is bad in any way. Most of these songs are really amazing when listened to singular; but when put together on an album, it gets a little worse for wear.

I know this review is short, but there really isn't much to say about this album. It's a simple funeral doom metal album that I can certainly see many die-hard fans of of the genre enjoying (myself included). Perhaps if Nortt put a little more music into these songs, he would succeed in making something really, really interesting.

By the way, listen to this album in a thunderstorm. If the awesome artwork is any indication, this is an excellent choice of music to listen to while staring out a window at the outside rainy environment.

Thunder Erupts as the Hearse Drives By... - 90%

FuneralDoomed23, September 25th, 2010

“The sound and atmosphere of the shuffling dead and haunting specters of an age long ago wandering wet, dark, gothic corridors” is what best describes the music of Nortt. I have never listened to an album as unique and creepy as the album “Gudsforladt”. There is an air of nothingness, emptiness, depression, and black spread through all ten tracks. The songs seem to meld into one another to really make just one song filled to the brim with nocturnal ambiance and horror beyond comprehension. Yet the music is soothing and relaxing as well, you could easily chill out to this music having a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale on a cool, crisp autumn night.

I can picture myself sitting on a porch at dusk watching the dead leaves fall from the trees and landing on unmarked three hundred year old gravestones when I listen to the soundscapes, and funeral dirges of Nortt. The music is that powerful and hypnotic, with an eerie whispered blackened rasp echoing from a coffin buried in a shallow grave to the slow yet buzz saw like guitar riffs personifying the pain, anguish and wretchedness of souls lost in Limbo. Though through the seemingly unending blackness of death there is a sound of longing when Nortt incorporates his keyboard into the songs. It seems to signal redemption that is just out of reach… a pinpoint of light in the thick, and suffocating dark.

I can best describe Nortt as a band that seems to be in similar yet different vain to the Finnish funeral doom masters Skepticism, the atmospheres are very similar but Nortt’s music seems a lot more cold and minimalistic compared to some of the lush atmospheres Skepticism evokes in their music. Having experience with death I would say that the feelings I had the day my father passed were very similar to the entirety of Nortt’s discography, that sense of hopelessness, depression and pain resonate a lot deeper to me. I would say that a lot bands that play slow tend to be ridiculed for their lack of speed and aggression to most general metal heads. But just like a good horror novel atmosphere is inherently a lot more effective then kinetic parts of murder and torture that just seem to be thrown into the book for shock value. I like my music to have atmosphere and ambiance compared to blast beats and guitar solos, and Nortt is simply a genius when it comes to the elements of primal fear and apocalyptic bleakness. It takes a gifted musician to have a vision as unique and awesome as Nortt. He seemed to have spawned a completely new genre of doom metal with this opus “Gudsforladt”. I hope he can continue with his own recipe for black, depressive funeral doom metal for years to come.

Fuckin' slow... - 85%

The_Ghoul, November 26th, 2006

Well... this is damn slow. I expected it to be slow (I heard it was some cross between Xasthur and Skepticism) but damn, this is slow. Ho-ly shit. I can see where somebody can see that it's funeral doom metal. It's slow, drudging, and lifeless. But I can see where somebody could call this black metal, or at least blackened metal. The guitar tone is scratchy, and the vocals are black metal wails. The production is quite "kvlt" as it were, so it does have that blackened vibe.

Not much can be said about this release that hasn't been said about their previous releases, except that the production's a bit cleaner and the piano parts a bit more atmospheric. Not much can be said about individual songs, since they're all pretty much alike. That, unfortunately, is what you get when you cross a very "same-y" style of black metal (Mutiilation) with a very drudging form of doom metal (Skepticism), which is who I see most of the influence coming from.

I would give a longer review, but there's not much more to review. If you like slow, you'll like this. If you like depressing, you'll like this. That's really all it is. Slow as hell drums, slow as hell guitars, and piano parts, with vocals in the background all reverbed out. Like Xasthur but much slower and a bit cleaner. And with a more lifeless vibe. They turned out to be excellent partners in the split.

I would give a higher score than 85, but the fact that Nortt doesn't manage to make his songs sound different lowers the score, as does the fact that most of his albums sound exactly the same.

Depression Has Never Felt So Good ... - 90%

Perplexed_Sjel, April 4th, 2006

Denmark's Nortt offer what every Funeral Doom Metal fan has come to expect with the genre in this release. "Gudsforladt", as already stated is the debut album from the Danish one man band Nortt. This album isn't entirely Funeral Doom Metal, it also contains Black Metal elements, adding that extra punch and sense of atmosphere most Black and Doom Metal fans have come to enjoy down the years.

"Graven", the introduction to this album expresses what this album is all about in it's entirety. Rain drops falling, thunder piercing through the skies and what appears to be a bell from a tower ringing out across the landscape. This portrays a very dark and gloomy undertow to the album and it's certainly that, dark and gloomy. Nortt claims that the lyrics deal mainly with death and darkness, something which is evident from the very beginning. The album has a rather symphonic tone, quite orchestral at times. Listening to this is like being present at a funeral procession. It's very dark and very haunting. The vocals add to this sense. They range from quite clean vocals, to low pitched growls. All in all, it's very haunting and severely depressing. Which i am assuming is the aim of this release, or the album of Nortt in general. Keyboard seemingly play a huge part in this album. They set the tone for what is to come. They add harmony and atmosphere to the music, they also offer the perfect backdrop to the vocals and other instruments. Each instrument plays its part and does so very well. The drums are slow and droning and the riffs are melodic and very low. When you break this album down, it's highly atmospheric, deeply emotive and depressing. It's melancholy, desolation and despair all rolled into one. Despite all this it is still a thoroughly enjoyable album. Perfect for a late night listen.

One can only hope for more of the same to come from Nortt.

Perfection - 100%

SXIII, October 27th, 2005

When I got this album I immediately put it in the nearest player, and after 20 seconds or something, I said one word: “Perfect”. As the album continued to play, I got totally blown away. This really was total perfection. From the first drops of rain in the intro to the very last sounding note of the final track, perfection.
This wasn’t the first thing I heard of Nortt. I already had the CD-release of the older demo “Graven”, which I thought was fantastic. But Gudsforladt went beyond all of my expectations. The way the music on this album speaks to you, is purely amazing. It builds up to climaxes of total depression, and lets you fall into your deepest emotional pits.
The album starts with an intro of bleak sounds of rain and thunder. In come very dark keyboard sounds that make you shiver all over your spine. We then pass on to “Døden”, where the sounds of pure depressive black funeral doom metal start to cut you like a freshly sharpened blade. One of my favourite tracks is the next one: “Glemt”. The melancholic sound of the piano in this opus is the perfect medium to reflect the feelings the writer tried to put in this music. “Gravfred” is a track (like many others on this album) that Nortt had already recorded before. But when we compare all of the other versions of the songs, the new ones are totally different. Of course, you recognize the patterns, the tones, the chords, but the composition has changed, and more important: the feeling has changed as well. I cannot express enough what kind of a masterpiece this is in a way of putting feelings into music. Over “Hinsides”, “Hedengangen”, “Død Og Borte”, “Nattetale”, “De Dødes Kor” and “Dysterd Sind” we learn that there are no real individual songs on the album. They al fit together into one firm sound: “Gudsforladt”.
If you have the CD-version, you will – after some time of spooky silence – hear a bonus track “Evig Hvile”, which is just brilliant. Although it was recorded after the Gudsforladt-sessions, it fits in perfectly into the idea of the album.
Ladies and gentlemen, this work is a funeral doom masterpiece. It is certainly not meant for everybody, and one has to understand the feelings behind the music in order to understand the music itself. This is not easy music. It requires active listening. But when you do, and you do it right, you will find what I found: Perfection.

Sounds of death... - 90%

KayTeeBee, April 24th, 2005

I think i've been living under a rock for the past year. I've seen the name Nortt mentionned just about everywhere, and I never really checked him out, and I regret this. Gudsforladt is Nortt's very first full-length album, and it has to be one of the best Black/Funeral Doom albums ever released. I've heard the older demos too, and they were just as great. This is 54 minutes of pure depression, with the slowest riffs on the planet, and the harshest vocals too.

Every single song on this album give you the most depressive feeling ever. There is no joy, there's nothing. There's the sound of death, approaching slowly. The guitar tone is extremely harsh and the riffs are played at an unimaginably slow speed, and same for the vocals. Subtle piano "melodies" are added from time to enhance the experience, and the music simply doesn't let go. This is another album that would easily fit into the gotta-hear-it-to-understand-it type of album. Slow eviscerating riffs that suck the life out of you.

Very simple to describe, yet unimaginably complex. Get it if you think you can take it.

Thoroughly disconnecting - 82%

Sacraphobic, January 16th, 2005

Do you fear a lonely death? This is the music of your nightmares. That desolate black mire you’re slowly sinking into in the relentless lashing rain with nothing but the shrieks of ghouls all around you, becoming muffled and then finally fading with your last breath... That cold coffin you’re trapped inside, enclosed in darkness and silence, lonely and isolated beyond that which one’s imagination can fathom… This is the process of experiencing and embracing that which looms ever closer for all of us, with each passing day.

Waves of discordant distortion pulsate a shroud of mist upon proceedings, locking you inside the music, and everything else out. Lurid, bleak piano notes are subtle and entrancing, floating along an agonisingly slow beat. Always so slow. Every note hangs… before fading. Faint, drawn-out growls are not that of a human. Church organs hypnotise and stretch out the distortion further. Silence is used – of course it is, nothing is lonelier than silence.

This is the product of throwing Burzum’s Filosofem, Blut Aus Nord’s latest offering and the funeral doom genre into a swamp.

Listen to this in the dark.