Ildjarn - Forest Poetry

Production: Taking Darkthrone-inspired texturalism to the extreme Ildjarn have distorted and reverbed sound into squealing torment which leaves a miasma of harmonic sound throughout this 4-track recording.

Review: In the style of older Bathory black metal is reformed as a droning, techno-basic attack of riffs changing rhythm and structure over a fixed, energetic, repetitive beat. Without the trance-inducing effects of Burzum the insidious nature of black metal's nihilism is less inductive than confrontational in an album of fast blasting material in which the major beat never varies. Relentless violence becomes beauty in the evidence of melody emerging behind the chaotic and droning battery, which reveals the core of an evil understanding: the structure within the aesthetic.

Making beauty from brutality requires a focus on abstract structures, here represented by the guitar riff as the only variable structural element for most of these songs. The predictable drumming establishes a basic variance to which counterpoint is introduced, anchoring a sequence of changing phrases into the same inflections of a riff. In the haze of four-track garage-and-radio distorted pulsing savage noise the ordinary listener is lost to any consistency but the beat, feeling the riff more than perceiving it change as a melodic slant rearranges all of the atmospheric harmony of the song. With precision and poetic metrics a windhowling voice in a backdrop of reverb, a la middle Darkthrone, scorches ice with clarity of the obscure in esoteric and harmonic addresses to the rhythm of each measure.


1. Whispering Breeze
2. Blackened Might
3. Clashing of Swords
4. No Gleaming Light
5. Blazing Eye
6. Sinking Deep
7. Chill of the Night (Returning)
8. The Blade Flares in Red Light
9. Deeping in Grey
10. Midnight Interval
11. Descending
12. Away with the Dawn
13. Before my Eyes Forever
14. Reflecting Mountains
15. Brother of the Forest
16. Dead Years
17. Dark December
18. Cold and Waste
19. Visions of the Earth (2nd Returning)
20. Risen Seeds of Time
21. Winter Embrace
22. No Place Nowhere

Length: 52:04

Ildjarn - Forest Poetry: Black Metal 1996 Ildjarn

Copyright © 1996 Norse League

For most listeners this music is almost unlistenable: unrelenting and mostly unchanging basic flickbeats through a drum machine trot past a fiercely, cheaply, grossly distorted guitar power chording riffs built of the same basic ideas and reacharound counterpoint tendencies. Barring that aesthetic restrainer, a careful listener will find the insecurity of a will behind seemingly random, simplistic music; with interpretation, one can see why this music walks heir to the throne of Hellhammer, Bathory, and Burzum: it breaks down in order to show melody and structure in the cracks of an aging order, and retaliates with a virulent nihilism and ideological anti-aesthetic textural synthesis. Where it is brilliant it is, and where else it is nonetheless reflective.