By the eponymous artist behind the well recognised ambient/atmospheric black metal project Lustre comes here the second and to date most recent release. It’s a bleak and dense burst of coldest black metal with a minimalist approach.
Henrik is demonstrably a man with many musical visions and this project being the antithesis to his more widely acclaimed Lustre, but still there are also many similarities that they share. Though this being a 17 minute EP, the structure is quite different but on the level of individual songs there can be more direct comparisons.
I will focus on the first track ‘Ett fjärran minne’ (transl. ‘A Distant Memory’) for this comparison.
The song opens with a tremolo picked riff and after a few repetitions a raspy voice starts howling. Following this comes a new riff which I find ridiculously catchy and almost out of place because of how much more vibrant it is to the first half of the song.
Continuing this the second riff is repeated with a variation played on top of it adding a layer of variation which enforces the trance-like effect of the song. The variation also sounds like it’s played by the bass guitar which is a very nice way of using the minimalist instrumentation.
This songwriting is much the same if you listen to a Lustre record. It’s about repetition, adding layers and variation and making smooth transitions towards a climax. But even if you have a formula that is so obvious it’s still no easy task to make a good song. Writing riffs and melodies that doesn’t grow unbearable after being repeated a number of times is no easy task and introducing subtle depth to a song without entirely changing it’s character demands great proficiency.
The EP features three songs (excluding the interlude) that one hastily might dismiss as cheap copies of 90s Norwegian black metal. But after a while you start to break down the songs and hear the subtle variations in the riffs, the bass cutting through the mix, the drums changing beat and this is when you conclude that this is very much genuine and something someone has worked hard to create and refine.
In the future I hope that we will get to hear a full length from this project and considering that Henrik not long ago set-up his own label Morrowless Music I have no doubt that we will.