Sort Vokter - _Folkloric Necro Metal_
(Napalm Records / Norse League, 1996)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (8 out of 10)
Wow!! This disk sounds like the recorded output of some freaked-out, inhuman woodland entity who does lots of drugs and thinks that early Bathory is God!! "This album was fully recorded under the influence of T.H.C., with no care for technical details," says the back cover. Sort Vokter is a one-man project from Norway dedicated to producing only the most abrasive and ultra-simplistic forest black metal. Indeed, this stuff is -so- primitive, raw, and distorted that it's outright psychedelic. The guitars are a wall of super-crusty fuzz; so is the bass, and the rudimentary arrangements are propelled by harsh programmed percussion that creates a supremely chilly feel. Vocals are done in the standard black metal style (occasionally filtered through various effects), and synthesizers are used in a genuinely creepy way. _FNM_ is a very deceptive recording: If you listen casually, it sounds totally crude and unimaginative - yet closer attention (headphones help) reveals multiple layers of morbid sound carefully designed to congeal into a juggernaut of stark, atmospheric black scorch. "Grdlysning" is very simple, yet very cool; "Bak to Lysende Oyne" just sounds mean as hell; and the inhuman shrieks in "Hatefulle Tanker ut I Natten" are incredible. This whole album is one mighty, resounding "Fuck off!" to those who proclaim their love of black metal, then whine about bands who don't have slick production or fancy-pants arrangements. Hell, I'm tempted to give it a nine.... (Killer packaging, too.)

(article published 11/18/1996)


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