Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

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.