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Great Funeral Doom - 95%

Hatecorpse, July 3rd, 2009

This album by Nortt is truly one a great effort in funeral doom and should be highly praised. It captures a deep and profound sorrow that will hypnotize you. In my opinion it is his best work.

Ligfaerd is very simplistic and very minimalistic in every way. The percussion is straight forward at all times and very rarely deviates from the simple one-two-three of snare,symbol,bass drum. You would think that this would be nothing special in funeral doom but in this case it enhances the music. Nortt's drums are very loud and have an almost explosive quality to them. Every time the kick hits it jumps into you. This makes the feeling of dread even deeper in the music because the percussion adds a feeling of something always approaching.

The looming percussion is perfect for the guitar. The guitar is very low and rough. It is hard to make out a lot of the time. He very rarely plays anything other than simple chords. When it comes down to it the guitar sounds purely evil and it couldn't get any heavier. The drums and the guitar combine to weave a great feeling of dread and approaching doom.

The best thing about this album is by far the keyboards and the lead work. Without them the album and the music would be nothing special. Again this is also very minimalistic but they don't need to be anything else. What Nortt chooses to do is perfect for the rest of the music. The keys and leads create an utter sense of loss and sorrow. Every moment of the music is a haunting experience. It truly sounds like hitting rock bottom. The vocals are tortured in every way. They come in very quiet and in the background and that is the perfect way for them to be. That recording style sounds like truly not caring. Then the few times when the vocals explode forth really capture the feeling of hate. This music is really only about a few things. Death,Hate, and Sorrow. His vocals capture that just fine.

I personally can't find any faults with this album because it achieves perfectly from beginning to end what it was supposed to. Music that is completely devoid of positivity. This is one of the best funeral doom albums ever made. It doesn't reach the levels of writing that say a band like Skepticism does. That is why I don't give it a 100%. Nortt will forever be a constant in funeral doom and this is far better than his first albums. If you need to listen to something intensely sorrowful,hateful,and evil this is it.

Nice makeup, precious - 22%

Cheeses_Priced, July 9th, 2007

Nortt sounds like a cross between funeral doom and black metal, and that is all Nortt sounds like. There is no aspect of Nortt’s music that does not directly inherit from the stereotypes of one or both of these genres.

For example: vocals are a high-pitched rasp and could surely pass as black metal vocals, but they are delivered at a relatively quiet volume, like a low-key funeral doom band such as Skepticism. Dual guitars are utilized after the manner of Disembowelment – one downtuned, one lead – but the lead plays melodies that adhere precisely to the standards set by Norwegian black metal, down to the fine print. Drumming is patterned after the straightforward, minimalist funeral doom style of percussion. Periodically some ambient interludes break up/add to the monotony, which is typical of both funeral doom and black metal, although these resemble black metal more closely.

And so on and so forth. Every last cliché is imitated precisely, with the ear of a master parodist. One can imagine a fledgling Nortt tossing and turning in bed, desperate to find some inspiration for his band. But suddenly – inspiration strikes! He sits straight up in bed in a cold sweat. Minutes later, he’s scratching away feverishly at a blackboard, having drawn one large circle marked “black metal” and another marked “funeral doom,” the two intertwined in a Venn Diagram, with various attributes of both scribbled in. Could it work? He rubs his brow, concentrating intensely.

Black metal and funeral doom have a lot in common – correct? They have similar artistic aims, and they’re both concerned with ambiance and atmosphere, so it seems plausible that the two might be combined to some good end. But they share something else as well: the innovating artists of both styles broke from the crowd, but influenced a lot of mediocre followers that merely shuffle along with the herd around them. Nortt just follows two herds instead of one.

(Suicidally) Astonishing - 98%

Valinus, June 26th, 2007

Nortt had laid the groundwork for the horrifying combination of depressive black metal and funeral doom with their first full length, Gudsforladt, in 2003. Fans of Nortt's previous work will not be dissapointed with Ligfærd, as it adheres to the same basic structure as his previous work, but with a few changes, mostly dealing with production quality.

The album is not something you should listen to if you want something either highly energetic, or happy. Extremely slow, crushing chords reverberate around you, sapping the light from the soundscape, leaving only desolation. Nortt's vocals, slightly reminiscent of torture, can be found lurking over just the right corners, adding to the baleful and depressive atmosphere.

The production has stepped up a bit from Gudsforladt, but this does not mean that this album sounds like the new Fall Out Boy "opus", quite the contrary. The guitar sound has been slightly cleaned up, but still remains a desolate sounding drone.

Now, the only issue I have with Nortt is that many of his songs tend to sound generally the same. This is a bit less so on Ligfærd, as the opener (Gudsforladt) and the closer (Ligfærd) would not sound out of place on a drone album and a few of the songs, such as Ligpraedike, utilize the synthesizer (tastefully, I may add) and quite a bit more experimental ambience is used overall.

The standout tracks on this album would have to be the epic Tilforn Tid, and Ligpraedike, but the other tracks are not to be overlooked. Something I especially enjoy about Nortt is how he manages to get a very eerie feeling in his music by making the harmony lines just the slightest bit off rhythm, either just a bit before the beat, or after it. Overall, the album is definately worth buying for any previous fan of Nortt, as is a great starting place for new listeners. I also highly recommend it to people who enjoy both funeral doom and depressive black metal, as Nortt is the perfect, if not the only, combination of the two.

A Dreamscape of Cavernous Despair - 95%

orionmetalhead, September 27th, 2006

Nortt's Ligfeard is a hollow black hole of despair. Like crawling in a cave in the dark, you see nothing in front of you and then you stumble into a wall or hit your head on a low hanging rock. Much like this cave, Nortt's second full length is deeply seeped with darkness and, for music, it even seems to have a certain moisture to it. Imagine being alone in these dark cavernous depths and hearing the hellish sound of hell's industries of torment and torture.

The production on this album is stagnant. Chords are quickly muffled by the thickness of the production however this works to the advantage of the recording. It offers an atmosphere and allows those feelings to surround you. The pitch blackness of the recording finds and encloses you within its dark walls. Drums sparsely used echo from the depths to finally greet you at the door to hell. Guitars, though also rare are more prevalent than the drums.

The musicianship is simple though exact and does no harm to a recording such as this. I would describe the performance as patient. There is no rush to get to any point. When Nortt, the single man behind this piece, feels like playing, he plays. The patience placed in the songs is the single defining moment of this release and when the time comes, He knows how to invoke feelings of loneliness and depression. The word Ligfaerd, after this release, may come to be synonomous with the words depressing and bleak. Vocals are hidden and esoteric, they come and go smoothly much like time - and pleasure - itself.

The songs are bleak and unwavering in their endless attack of emptiness. This is a case in which the music is not what is played but what is not played. The played components of this song are there for the sole reason of making the emptiness even more empty. Making the blackness blacker. The subtle hints of some sort of melody make you wonder if your imagining them or if they are really there. Realizing that there is something rising from the depths of this musical void a key to enjoying this work of art. The existence of melody in such a hostile aural environment is the true mystery of this album.

Sublime Blackened Doom - 93%

Sternodox, September 9th, 2006

This release begins with eerie soundtrack style sounds - distant, haunting keyboards and sounds akin to some subterranean machines, reminding one of a cavernous Morlock factory. To the astute listener, the reverb settings will bring to mind diSEMBOWELMENT's "Transcendence Into The Peripheral." After a couple of minutes, the first chord is struck and Ligfærd's atmosphere is immediately defined: Ponderous, plodding, reverb-drenched gloom.

As the record progresses, the similarities to diSEMBOWELMENT become even more apparent. But where the Australian band's roots derive from Thrash, Nortt is unabashedly plumbing the depths of Black Metal's elite genre milestones.

The considerable space between power chords is sublimely filled with minor key piano and synth. Not flourishes, mind you, but an injection of ambient quietude. It's a pretty straight forward progression of ambient Doom on this record until about four minutes or so into "Vanhellig" (the third track). The vocals and extraneous "noises" peppering the last half of this song punctuate a series of disturbing and abrupt rhythmic change-ups that each become intensely arrhythmic and quite demented. Once your ears perk up and you begin wondering, "What the fuck!" the song digresses into a slowly fading piano ostinato that eventually winds down into silence.

The following track, "Tillform Tid," continues this off-balance atmosphere. I really like how the song's two rhythmic lines are slightly askew, the guitar playing a fraction of a beat behind the keyboard line. This technique, utilized throughout the record, endows Nortt's music with a disturbing, off balance feeling that evokes slight tension in the midst of the otherwise serene melodies. But the music here is so utterly slow that one's balance is easily regained. The songs on this record are uniformly lengthy - most clocking in at eight minutes or more, ample time to settle into the dark, sombre mood created by each arrangement.

People who appreciate diSEMBOWELMENT's aforementioned godly release, as well as those who worship at the temples of Thergothon and Skepticism will find Nortt's first full-length essential. This is one of my favorite acquisitions this year. There just isn't enough of this type of music - of this quality - out there.