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(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.