Fortid: Pagan prophecies
05/09/12 || Averatu
As I’ve tried to make abundantly clear, the metal of blackness is just not my thang. And when a band tries to add the whole pagan angle to the mix I tend to tune out and move on. When I get this new black-metal album of a band from from Norway, expectations are kind of mixed. Norway is the country with the highest living standards in the fucking world, luxury sedans are the norm, yet judging by the recordings of some of the most highly (over)rated bands in black metal, the studios in Norway are really horribly bad, either that or they’re all based in toilets. These lauded bands also end up sounding mostly like really messy late 70’s lazy crust punk to me, and that’s when they’re not aimless soundtracks to some suicidal dope trip of some convicted felon. Hence my collection of kvelt metal is limited to Enslaved.
I like to start with the bad news. On the down side, Fortid lose points and go straight to jail for nameless track 8, which is 18min and 12 seconds of wind and rain and urination noise. How many fucking bands have done that? I have at least 5 albums in my collection with exactly the same rain song on it. I’m at a point where I’m going to fly to some snowy part of the world and make yellow snow cones for all these intro-outro atmospheric douch-bands, unless you think piss flavoured mud pies will do? (Please forward delivery address).
On the up side they do gain big points for the other 7 tracks of the album. From a technical perspective the music on this recording is brilliantly executed in relation to the genre, solid double pedal drumming, tremolo picking guitars with some jangly acoustic sections, ghost of black-metal bass, and even some piano parts. Actually the bass and the drums are phenomenally tight, discerning where kick drum ends and bass note begins is generally impossible, which is the makings of a truly impressive backline. I have to specially mention that they seem to have found the only semi decent toilet-studio in Norway, other bands from Scandonordica should check it out.
The writeup provided with the album said pagan blackmetal, so I was obviasly expecting fiddles and bagpipes and backing vocals performed by a bar-load of drunk Vikings, but the pagan element seems to be in the lyrical content, thank-fuck-fully there is no polka metal here. Instead they’ve crafted themselves an identity somewhere between Dissection and Ensiferum, they deliver a solid epic slab of metal that journeys through moods and atmospheres, brilliantly aided by the variation of vocal delivery. The songs vary in style from traditional blasting black to mellow mid tempo with acoustic and vocal only parts, and the songs on the album are brilliantly arranged in such a way that I never felt overwhelmed by too much blast or too much mellow, always something interesting around the turn of every track.
- Released: 2012
- Label: Schwarzdorn Production
- Website: Fortid MySpace
- Einar ‘Eldur’ Thorberg: guitars, keys, vocals
- Øystein Hansen: guitars
- Rikard Jonsson: bass
- Daniel Theobald: drums
- 01. Pagan prophecies
- 02. Spirit of the north
- 03. Electric horizon
- 04. Lesser sons of greater fathers
- 05. Sun turns black
- 06. Ad handan
- 07. Endalok
- 08. (Aforementioned rain and urination song)