Nortt - _Gudsforladt_
(Diehard Bloodline, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
Browsing Nortt's website and looking at the collection of demo tapes reaching back to 1997, it becomes clear that there has been a consistent aesthetic and musical theme since the beginning. Pondering on death as a welcome release from the torments of life, the grave as a darkened womb to return to, Danish one-man project Nortt combines black metal sonic elements with a doom metal state of mind; the self-inflicted label of "pure depressive black funeral doom metal", wordy as it may be, is an apt description -- even the "pure" bit makes some degree of sense, since Nortt never seem like they would compromise the bleakness and moroseness of the music on _Gudsforladt_ for all the gold in this world.

Nortt have taken a sound reminiscent of early Burzum and twisted it to the point of seeming as slow for black metal as Skepticism are for doom. Mournful keyboards (mostly church organs and slow piano) very adequately complement the music, which is driven by rumbling guitar chords, slow pounding drums and the wails and laments of some tortured spirit (though not quite in Deinonychus' downright weeping style). The music has a droning, simplistic feel most of the time, but that suits the unrelenting oppression created by this album. There is no actual singing (even by black metal standards), no upbeat passages, no effort to make the album easier to accept by listeners (except perhaps if you point out the occasional piano melodies, but that would seem unfair since their delicate despondency and cobwebbed beauty only adds to the atmosphere). The tracks aren't very long, so you need not expect the same riff getting repeated for ten minutes; it is the album as a whole that works in the way I described above.

This is the kind of album most worth playing when you are not simply alone but also lonely, or at least considerably melancholic or sorrowful for some reason. It simply won't work on a sunny day when you're feeling good and your life's alright -- so be warned that this album may not be for you. Otherwise you really need _Gudsforladt_ in your collection. _Gudsforladt_ comes presented in a hardcover digibook (limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies), which at the time of writing is being sold by the label for a very steep 190 DK (equivalent to about 25.50 Euro as of May 2004). Considering the quality of this release, however, I doubt even at this exaggerated price Diehard will have much trouble dispatching all the copies.


(article published 25/5/2004)

8/12/2006 P Azevedo 8.5 Nortt - Ligfaerd
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