[Reviewed by stark]
Anima Nostra is the second collaboration between the tireless Nordvargr and French artist Margaux Renaudin. The first one was released under their own names by Cold Spring and was entitled… “Anima Nostra”. Even though I consider myself a fan, I really can’t say how many projects Nordvargr is involved with. Yet for me, and as I suspect, for many others, it’s Mz.412 that most important one.
It isn’t without reason I mention Maschinenzimmer ensemble, because of all the enterprises of the enormously tall Swede, Anima Nostra is probably the one closest in spirit to Mz.412. Of course, I remember that – in general, without going into details – Mz.412 is more “satanic” or “antichristian”, while Anima Nostra deal more in mystical/occult themes. From a musical point of view I could say that “Atraments” compositions are built upon song-like structures and by “songs” I mean Nordvargr’s understanding of that word. The dark ambient, industrial influences still play an important role here but it’s not that all we get are droning soundwaves or noisy monoliths. That previous Cold Spring release was different, maybe not radically, but still. “Anima Nostra” could be described as dark ambient. Encrusted with tribal percussion and Middle Eastern embellishments it was a very tasty dish for all fans of black moods.
This Malignant released disc is filled with growls, guitars and unintelligible compositions that refer not only to dark ambient or industrial but also to extreme forms of metal (death/doom). Far from being devoid of abstract sound waves and those attributes typical for the music he presents to the world, I feel that with “Atraments” Nordvargr goes outside their comfort zone – and I mean not his directly, but a reasonable bunch of listeners’ although a large percent of them are into extreme metal as well.
Personally, I liked the Cold Spring album better, but at the same time both albums stand as a single concept, two sides of the same coin. Treat them as such you’ll discover an impressive compendium of sound.