Video Trailor: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeiiHICORFs
Black metal was conceived as an instrument of change, a force of rebellion against tired tropes and cowed egalitarianism, an unshackling of bonds both moral and metaphysical. Perhaps inadvertently so, these birth pangs nevertheless spread to those who headed the call and claimed it as their own. For a while, black metal's earliest mavericks understood its deepest, darkest secrets and strove to honour its liberating fire, its cleansing touch, its whispered seduction. Each band possessed its own idiosyncrasies whilst being firmly - and unapologetically - aligned within the realm of BLACK METAL.
Along the way, charlatans and careerists infiltrated that realm, diluting its original essence - that FIRE - through mawkish, juvenile dress-up and yet more egalitarianism in the name of quasi-"brotherhood." Yet individuals - individual voices - still lurked in the shadows, patiently in plying their craft to those with liberated ears, and one of the most staunchly individualist voices to date has been Germany's Fyrnask. In 2011, lone mainman Fyrnd released Fyrnask's Bluostar through Temple of Torturous to widespread international acclaim, most critics rightfully claiming the band to be black metal's saviours of boundless neo-traditionalism. However kaleidoscopic Bluostar was (and still is, of course), little can prepare one for the journey that awaits within Eldir Nótt, Fyrnask's mesmerising and monolithic second album.
Clocking in a massive, time-evaporating 56 minutes, Eldir Nótt sees Fyrnask taking truer, freer flight than ever. The monument begins with cyclic, spiraling black metal of a shockingly gorgeous hue - sumptuous, even sensual - and yet retains the genre's core elements, that liberating fire and cleansing touch. But from there, Eldir Nótt wends and winds down both darker and daresay lighter corridors, as black metal proper is shed of its skin and the latent vibrations and textures so crucial to it are shaped into alternately dense/spacious soundscapes more in line with the ethno-ambient genre spearheaded by Dead Can Dance. Flickers of that fire take shape again and again, and motifs are revisited and reassembled, the sum effect being not unlike arcane afterimages reverberating across the cosmos and emerging upon the receptor different yet unchanged. And all along the path, there are means of escape, but "escape" not in the sense of freedom from conflict, unpleasantness, or whatever - rather, escape to wilder, weirder hinterlands of the imagination.
Recorded between 2011 and 2013, Fyrnask's Eldir Nótt was a Herculean undertaking for mainman Fyrnd, but the results speak for themselves: black metal is both blacker and more visual again, purer and more defiant. Adorned with appropriately transcendental artwork by Benjamin Vierling and design by David d'Andrea, here is Eldir Nótt, and Fyrnask are handing you the torch.