[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
If I hadn’t been told that this was a project from Herleif Langas of Northaunt I doubt I would have made the connection. Primarily driven by introspection and a deliberate focus on emotion, The Human Voice could not be more of a departure from the norm under any stretch of the imagination. There are eight movements which make up what we’re hearing and they all seem to have one thing in common: escape. From life, from reality…
Something is broken here in this little world he’s crafted for us, there’s a feel of romanticism in some of this while at other times it is the very edge of existence he is taking us to; one cannot hear these pieces and come away unaffected because “Silent Heart” begins to pull things out of your own subconscious the longer you listen to it and if you find this ability to be disturbing you are not alone. The very ribbons of time start to come undone and from within the murky, continually transforming currents of reality a new narrative is brought out into the light, a collection of experiences all arranged according to varying degrees of importance.
Echoes of the past move across the land, they lure you into their embrace and hold you in rapt silence where the sun is forever setting and nothing you say or do will release you from knowing the bitterness of loss. Into darkness we move throughout this album’s run with a heavy heart; cut down in the prime of youth, the soil bleeding out the deeds which have led us here. The one and only connection this project has to what he’s done as Northaunt would be the terrible terrible power which empty spaces can have. They seem so tranquil, do they not? A realm of solitude, somewhere between what you know and what may come. There is another side to what the absence of others contains and that is the subtle, cunning laughter rising in the mind that can lead to madness.
I think you who are reading this know of what I’m speaking. It’s difficult to put into words but that same majesty and grace which awes so many has to it a myriad of shimmering layers; the design is an intricate one without an end, no one knows where their words finally disintegrate in the void but have no illusions: “Silent Heart” is not a release to be taken at face value. Warm and inviting though many of these passages seem this work is an ode to where voices go to die; at the furthest point from what our species knows is a place wrought from regal despair… the hopes and dreams we aspire to slowly fade into nothingness like embers flickering from within a languishing fire.