Thick, massive and utterly dark soundscapes of true black ambience coming from one of the founders of the now legendary Swedish industrial scene. Drones, strings and voices of the dead join forces in the cavernous cellar of Bohultâ€¦ Striking against your sanity… No jokes, no drums, no hopes…
Henrik Nordvargr BjÃ¶rkk has released yet another alias into the postindustrial music scene. Henrik BjÃ¶rkkâs new project is called Nordvargr. Henrik BjÃ¶rkk is well known for his numerous musical accomplishments from the harsh noise music of the satanic MZ412 to the WWII inspired industrial/ambient sounds of Tordoih. Henrik is also renowned for his work on the now discontinued project Folkstorm. Henrik brings immense experience to every project he produces and this dedication has produced an excellent new album.
Nordvargr will be a new experience for those readers familiar with Henrikâs industrial noise manipulation or the nostalgic WWII requiems of Tordoih. Nordvargr has become the new outlet for Henrikâs ritual dark ambient explorations. This new alias trades in the industrial noise signature of the artist in return for new musical explorations into dark ambient. Readers familiar with Henrik have been waiting a long time for this master of the black arts to make his debut in this genre.
Nordvargr is a co production between Eibon Records and Code666 of Italy. Eibon Records is known for its long line of dark music releases including titles that cover doom metal, dark ambient, dark rock, noise etc. Code666 is known for their history as a black metal label.
Nordvargr offers the listener a new dark ambient experience. Henrik takes us to his own lair abandoning many of the predictable cycles and patterns that usually play out in the genre. Nordvargr steers into dark waters leaving behind the well-mapped domains of dark ambient. The Voyage forward has begun in search of something uniquely Nordvargr. The result is an album of slow, lumbering sound tracks that lull the listener into a world of nightmares suspended in time. Nordvargr abandons rhythm and melody in search of a music that embraces the subconscious. Musical movements within the compositions are slow and deliberate. Predictable climaxes and startling â€œhorrorsâ€ from the dark are abandoned. In turn, we are ferried across the river Styx. Swedish noise master Henrik Nordvargr BjÃ¶rkk delivers the listener into a world of the damned.
The second track titled â€œCellar Dwellerâ€ was the first song to strike me on the album. â€œCellar Dwellerâ€ begins with a short intro of gothic electric guitar. Your heart is penetrated by the guitar with sense hopelessness. Rumbling waves of bass rise up from the depths. The bass heralds the dense clattering of steel and iron.
The rusting barge you have boarded slowly clamors away from its moorings. You drift down a dark river of death and darkness. On the approaching shore of the river Styx, sits a decaying citadel. Deep within the citadels dungeon a metal giant shifts in his slumber. The steel and iron of his mammoth and lumbering frame echoes up through the empty ruins. From the river, you hear the rumbling of metal rise from deep within the ruins. Rumbling bass driven drones take over the soundtrack. The music remains bleak and lacking a sense of hope. You hear strange sounds and detect movement in the dark. Disheveled sentinels awake to your presence as you drift down the river. Disembodied voices demand your pity as they scream in pain and beg for a reprieve through the dense shroud of dark musical ambience. There is no pity in this darkness. Never has this dungeon known pity. Invisible masters of iron and steel drive the wretched souls deeper into the dungeon of the citadel. The voices fade from your hearing. The rumbling subsides and in its place reigns a pulsing foghorn that sounds out across the music. Deep and hollow it calls out in a never-ending cycle. Metal can be heard meeting metal. Like prison bars, being slammed close on their victims the echo of metal against metal haunts you. The souls of the dead whisper into your ears and swirl about your person in desperation as you begin to loose site of the citadel. The music and the vision it invokes passes as you slowly drift down river away from the decaying citadel on shore.
Track 6 is titled Hascimh. In Hascimh, you learn that your depraved journey is just beginning. You find yourself washed ashore having drifted too long in these black waters. You have come upon a monastery in this world of lost souls. Hascimh begins with familiar deep rumbling bass accompanied by a strange scratching. The scratching noise whispers behind the thundering rumble of bass. A somber male voice booms out over the rumbling darkness in a deep distorted voice. His words intone power and authority and you suddenly realize you are witness to some arcane rite within this nameless monastery. Large fires are burning as a great ritual commences. Deep male vocals recite a demonic invocation over the thundering music. The voice fades and the deep rumbling is infected with the distant sounds of metal and machinery. Drums begin to play to the monotonous rhythm of this macabre ritual. The drums chug forward as if driving unseen forces that slave under the burden of turning the invisible gears that you hear clamoring in the distance. Great iron doors begin to break an ancient seal locked since the beginning of time. Hysterical wails of a tortured soul rise from the depths the doors conceal. Lonely and crazed the wail crawls out of the hole and chills your soul. Before you get the chance to glimpse what is hidden behind the doors the light slowly fades and you find yourself alone again.
â€œSeeds of Bloodâ€ (Acts 1-4) is the eighth and final track on the album. â€œSeeds of Blood spans more than 15 minutes as it voyage slowly through its four acts. Rhythm plays a larger role in this final song. Regardless of rhythmic elements, this song is the loosest composition on the album. The music is akin to drifting through the subconscious mind of a severely depressed war veteran. The song is inherently sorrowful. Henrik flushes out the last of his nightmares with this last hypnotic requiem. The music is too thick and dark to impose any specific visions. Instead of vision the listeners is left with glimpses and impressions. Impressions of fallen leaders, desperate wars and the men who shamelessly died for causes they never understood. Nordvargr leaves the listener lingering in the abyss as the last note drops into silence.
Henrik BjÃ¶rkk has composed a great introductory album for his latest project Nordvargr. Deeply rooted in ritual dark ambient this album is essential for all self-flagellating fans of dark ambient. Just imagine the man behind MZ412, Folkstorm and Tordoih laying down some of the blackest ambient you have ever heard. Need I say more?
Radical faeries that like dark ambient will already either have this album or should be searching for it now. Faeries who like dark music in general will like this release. However, realize if you are not already a dark ambient fan this album will most likely be the darkest item in your musical collection. Faeries who like dark ambient as a way to spend time exploring their nightmares will find a new playground for their imaginations with Nordvargr. Moreover, of course if you loved the description above you need to experience Nordvargr for yourself.
As far as spiritual and ritual applications go this music is probably best left to those Faeries who are familiar with the dark. Uses are endless as the music is very imagination stimulating. Trance, meditation, guided visualization, communicating with the dead, visiting Hades and other necro-magick could easily be enhanced with this album.