Fyrnask – Eldir Nótt


[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

The cover of the record exhibits a magical primitivism similar to the naïve but deeply symbolic painting of Henri Rousseau (Le Douanier). Together with the intro this visually touching booklet emerges the listener into an individual musical territory. The plethora of juxtaposed styles presented from the first track encourages a soliciting and gratifying audition. The highly researched Black Metal arpeggios find affinities with German compositionally robust groups like Faulnis, Graupel, Aura Noir. An aura of pagan trance inspiration envelops the violent pace of the first track, “Vigil”, with colors of post-rock discordance – reminiscent of another fine band, Verdunkeln – and bohemian progressions. It is clear that this one-man outfit produces difficult work that will capture every drop of sweat from a dedicated listener. Such intricate, elaborate musical writing that still remains in great accuracy can only be an accomplishment of years of study and labor. Fyrnd is another secret and valuable figure hidden in the underground, along with other lonely artists like Wrest (Leviathan) or von Meilenwaod (The Ruins of Beverats).

The next track starts off in a drone-sludge pacing to build itself into a monument of fire-breathing altar. “Jarðeldr” is nothing but a raging snow storm that whirls in furious circles, becoming a noose on the necks of those who dare stand before it. The force of such a composition cannot be resolved but in terms of total blasting or deep poetical followings, and Fyrnd delivers remarkable technical solutions. After the wrath is appeased, just as after the end of a sacrifice, the melody becomes pure invocation, the pace transforms into a ceremonial liturgy and the whole piece reaches ritualistic peaks. You literally see white smoke in front of your eyes; such is the outcome of this profound composition, like the mystical mantra drawn with white pigeons that you see in the booklet.

The delicacy of this artist’s soul is revealed all the more in soft songs of a distant warmth, like “Suonnas Sedir”, that pictures a misty winter forest and is played on traditional instruments, recalling the Finnish project Nest.

“Saltrian” unleashes another furious sweep of nature’s urge and this time the shrieking and harsh vocals are again accompanying a rich, overabundant black metal texture that moves in serpentine accords of sometimes plain demonic walls of sound. This viscous organic melodiousness (of the force of Drautran or Dor de Duh) absorbs and transforms the listening experience into a transpersonal expression of cathartic outcome. Fyrnask gives great care to details and creates an ice-clear sound that reflects the deep thematic of the music entirely.

The use of drones and ambient scores is excellently mastered, a fact evident in the superb “Samas Stigr”, another acoustic string song that flows in a dancing atmosphere of brooding chants of ancestral worship, like old Storm or new Wardruna. Fyrnd is also a viol player in a local consortium and this allows him a broader perspective on extreme music. This is how songs like “Síaiða” are imagined. Here it seems that the composer tries to bring back into life forces hidden deep in the terrestrial profoundness. Like the haunting Hellheim’s Av Noron Aett, the structures of the song seems to be crafted from wood and bones, as it hideously breaths pure telluric fire. A fire that matches the solar flames, such is the intensity and magic of the song…and so a circle is completed that is only meant to be performed by the power of this kind of incantatory music. All of a sudden the fire-curtain falls and silent rays of white light appear, piercing our eyes with whispered voices and chords. This music, a mirrored sounding voice of the ritualistic theme explored through the album, possesses an exceptional ability to seamlessly weave emotion. “Sút” ends the record in a slow acoustic movement that resolves the rather violent and contradictory imagery of the album, blurring the boundaries of fury and serenity in one distant, clear-sighted perspective.

The Swedish label Temple of Torturous released the record in 2013. This year saw many similar releases in terms of mystic descriptive Black Metal based on ancient symbolism and traditions of natural elements adoration; my soul kept the likes of Falkenbach, Wardruna, The Ruins of Beverast, Oranssi Pazuzu (and Horna’s last album to summarize the best Nordic records from 2013). Fyrnask stands out as an outstanding craft of elemental black metal, a poetic and lively conjuration of the elements that make and master this petty world, where in some privileged moments artists like Fyrnd know how to pay tribute to the sun.

FyrnaskEldir Nótt
Temple of Torturous, ToT017
CD/LP/Digital 2013

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