Feikn - _Helhesten/Aamanden_
(Horror Records, 1998)
by: Alvin Wee (9 out of 10)
Long gone are the days when black metal was something to be feared by the masses, and for only the true believers to drown their darkened selves in. Or so I thought, until I got into contact with Azter, the man behind Danish outfit Denial of God and head honcho of underground label Horror Records, and also a believer in preserving the sanctity and mystique of black metal -- it's no surprise that Horror's first signing prove themselves worthy of special mention in today's overcrowded, commercial scene. "Aamanden" opens quietly with Ulver-like folk guitars before the traditional fuzz takes over, painting a gently melodic soundscape with an atmosphere as impressive as Satyricon's early work or Enslaved's "Hordanes Land". In fact, the mix is suitably rough to create the ambience of atmospheric black metal in the early '90s: mysterious, dark and unfathomable. Segueing smoothly from early Ulver-style ragings into quietly moving angelic female singing and back again, Feikn's music is both heart-stoppingly beautiful and soul-damningly dark, all the way through to "Helhesten", a somewhat shorter but no less effective dirge. While Isaz's passionately tortured screams would bring ecstasy to any self-respecting Grishnackh fan, what is described in the flyer as "almost fragile singing" can more appropriately be blamed on an untrained female throat. Nevertheless, the atmosphere remains untainted, and Feikn prove that they have remarkable talent for combining passages of utmost melancholy with the mayhem of black metal, while never losing continuity. There is no doubt about it that Feikn reigns among the very best in atmospheric, truly underground black metal.

(article published 14/3/1999)

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