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Branikald: triumph or turd?

Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:00:22 AM
Branikald?  I call Hipsters!

Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:18:16 AM
Branikald is fantastic, at least on their Rdjandalir album. Its the most spiritual sounding BM Ive listened to. Completely mesmerizing.

Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:22:26 AM
I've had this band pimped to me several times, and it always sounds like the same old tired NSBM game.

Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:49:13 AM
Branikald has an overwhelming discography with quality being lost in quantity. The ideas of the Blazebirth Hall circle are best represented by Forest.

Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 12:39:16 PM
Branikald was one of the last bands who created black metal that will still be relevant in 50, if not 100 years. If you refuse to "like" Branikald because of political and social presumptions, it's not anyone elses' problem; replace it with Immortal or something in my sentence then.

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 02:01:30 PM
Branikald was one of the last bands who created black metal that will still be relevant in 50, if not 100 years. If you refuse to "like" Branikald because of political and social presumptions, it's not anyone elses' problem; replace it with Immortal or something in my sentence then.

How is this band relevant, though?  What I've heard from them comes across as the same Burzum ripoff + superficial novelty formula that underlies so much bad Eastern European black metal.  Clean vocals and playing out of tune don't strike me as particular important innovations.  I haven't heard all that much from this band, but what I have heard doesn't seem to stack up well against the classics.

Septicemia

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 02:30:32 PM
A few listens to their earlier material strikes me as inventive riff-generation, but basically a composite near post-Thousand Swords Graveland with a little earlier more melodic rock type Burzum (Ea, Key to the Gate). Clearly newer black metal because it essentially plays one riff per piece, opting for style rather than a journey. It's only above its contemporaries because it has a better sense for variation but that's seen as an end in itself rather than a means. 

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 02:44:58 PM
A few listens to their earlier material strikes me as inventive riff-generation, but basically a composite near post-Thousand Swords Graveland with a little earlier more melodic rock type Burzum (Ea, Key to the Gate).  

That's definitely what I'm hearing: Burzum riffs picked out in the style of a Graveland intro, but without anything to say or anywhere to go.

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:17:03 PM
Branikald was one of the last bands who created black metal that will still be relevant in 50, if not 100 years. If you refuse to "like" Branikald because of political and social presumptions, it's not anyone elses' problem; replace it with Immortal or something in my sentence then.

I vaguely recall giving something by them a cursory listen and dismissing it as a bad version of Forest. Their discography is huge, is their anything in specific you find worthy of praise?

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 03:42:24 PM
A few listens to their earlier material strikes me as inventive riff-generation, but basically a composite near post-Thousand Swords Graveland with a little earlier more melodic rock type Burzum (Ea, Key to the Gate). Clearly newer black metal because it essentially plays one riff per piece, opting for style rather than a journey. It's only above its contemporaries because it has a better sense for variation but that's seen as an end in itself rather than a means. 

This is exactly what I got out of listening to 'Rdjandalir' for the first time and barred any successive plays. Like a good number of bands in this vein, they seem to have good intentions but their expression is so limited by this derivative formula that any variations made to that central riff sound empty and at times awkward. It's like a lot of Doom Metal that wants to revel in an 'atmosphere', which in this case is really another word for 'the colour of a lack of ideas in the audible spectrum of those who are familiar with this genre'.

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 09:12:38 PM
It's not my intention to create any hype around Blazebirth Hall or convince people to "like" it. I give my information and review of the material for the sake of the continuing art in metal studies. When being asked a question of the type "what is the best black metal beyond X", where X refers to a set of well known examples reviewed lucidly on DLA, the Blazebirth Hall creations should undoubtedly be the FIRST ANSWER unless there is something seriously wrong with my "musical bullshit detector".

Things to note:
a) the production _may be_ horrifying
b) they are Russian NS black metal with an absurd and heretical use of English, German and Norwegian on their tracktitles, all features that suggest that this stuff _may_ border on pure idiocy
c) they are the latest in a series of developments that disregarded most of the conventions of rock and heavy metal, but in Branikald's case this even meant an abandonment of practically all the innovations of death metal, some of which were still practiced by bands such as Darkthrone, Burzum and Graveland - who coincidentally were at their peak when having furthest escaped the obsessions of the previous generation into ideal, pure, abstract black metal
d) the core of the output of BlazeBirth Hall dates to '94-'97, when lack of trading contacts and political sympathies made it unknown everywhere else except the personal relations of the group; the BM underground has been bombarded with a pile of BBH re-releases every year since '02 and they seem all too well to fit the crowd of non-critical bedroom black metal, inspid Myspace projects, bands with an invented extreme history, etc. so one can't but try check the available MP3, listen to it quickly and make hasty decisions that concern a series of 20-30 old tapes of a profoundly conscious but raw and unpolished spirit

Thus, I suggest:
- if unfamiliar to the topic, start with the Hammerkrieg compilation
- if NONE of the bands on the compilation seem interesting, return to Darkthrone, Burzum and other meaningful activity in life - but please stop suggesting jazzy "technical" death/black metal hybrids that ape old much better Anus favourites to Metal Muxtape as a valid direction for the future of metal
- if you find something of interest, listen to 2-3 of the albums from different bands + different eras of the bands the "old school" way: the whole thing through, more than once, and preferably while not surfing internet porn; I myself got this horrendous pile of tapes through a trade before the current batch of re-releases existed and didn't care about them particularly for years - then I happened to be stuck with some of them and not much else at an apartment for some months and discovered musical pleasure unimagined, which has stayed with my experience of them ever since
- if it still sounds like just another jewish plot to you, we will be delighted to read your short review and commentary, to see further angles from which to view this music

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 10:14:29 PM
I start commenting the individual works.

The chronological starting point of the journey is Branikald's "Stormheit" '94, probably the first Russian black metal demo in history. The music here retains a more traditional old school black metal character than what follows later in Branikald's career so it might be the best starting point for fans of Norwegian black metal. The tracks are built from a sparse set of tremolo or slow thrash -like melodies a la "Panzerfaust". There are only a few of them in each song and variation is induced by the chaos of the recording and sometimes a transpose of the melody played on bass or 2nd guitar. Drums are super primitive but fitting to the primal rage of the recording. This release forebodes the drone-like meditation of later Branikald and Forest but resolves each track more quickly and is a bit unsure how the compose the track from the set of cryptic riffs.

Next comes Branikald's "To Kampf" '95, a chaotic mess of a demo that reaches towards the infinite beauty somewhere in between Emperor's reverbed massive sound and Ildjarn's contemptuous repetition of mind numbingly resolute, brutal phrases. Some of this is probably where the "out of tune" accusation comes from. But the point of the material should be very easy to get, as it is a war of simple melodic themes at each appearance resolving a new meaning for the song because of the nearly random way it relates to the distorted noise of the song - it's natural black metal, in the sense of waves crashing onto the rocks of a shore.

Also Ravendark's "Autumn Roar" is dated to '95. The style is simple, attractive, mid-paced black metal which uses chord patterns and progressions reminding of a medieval rite of war and funeral like early Graveland. It is perhaps more awkwardly paced than what Branikald did a year before; sounds like most demos sound, a "student work". I like the general feeling in this, of course.

Next in the series of tapes are Forest's debut and two Branikald ones: "Rdyandalir" and "Varg Fjerne A Tornet". This '96 set represents the first of the 2 best years of BBH material. Forest's music is more conventional in comparison plus they have not yet perfected their hypnotic technique (ironically the most fulfilling part of this release seems to be the long ambient piece "Winter Howl" that dates to '94 already) which is on better display on the later releases. Still, as I said concerning the Branikald debut, it might be a good place to start because the music is obviously modelled on the form of Darkthrone but adding some of the key concepts of Blazebirth Hall: using the drums almost as a decoy (it's hard to tell at first what layer of strings the drummer is following) and putting together some of the most profound melodies (or rather polyphonies) by ordering the variations of the simple sequences across a long stretch of time, in a manner hostile to most people's attention spans. Not sure if Branikald has at this point heard Burzum's "Filosofem" or not but it starts its plunge into what is basically ambient drones played with shrill, ethereal, raw guitar tremolo; add arpeggios that are all about the aforementioned suggestion of Filosofem-like sonic space which is all about what notes do NOT happen and when the notes do NOT happen in the basically familiar minor key chord journey.

Before I go on it's better that I relisten to many of the albums since it has been a while. As a quick guide to people confused by the mass of recordings, I can say that Branikald grows increasingly abstract, non-metallic and guitar drone / layer oriented until "Rising Up the Thing of the Winds" '00 is again a more familiar arrangement of folk-rooted (through "Following the Voice of Blood") and Hellhammer-rooted (through "Panzerfaust") and the last album "Triumph of the Will" is the final, almost sick last gasp of black metal creativity before deciding to move from this dead culture towards action for the better. All the compositions are "triumphant" and the harsh, aggressive double tracked shouts imitate Oi music and incite action, action, action making it almost impossible to sit still and listen to the album. Forest (and continuation Vargleide) recreated the Slavonic ethereal melancholy "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" variation on many albums before making a sort of BBH / heavy metal hybrid with "In the Flame of Glory". Raven Dark stayed with the structures of Norwegian black metal but with the cold melodies typical of BBH. Nitberg was obviously inspired by old Isengard. Rundagor was some of the most traditional BBH black metal, containing in my mind allusions to Enslaved and Satyricon more than Burzum or Graveland, but their work has not been re-released.

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
December 23, 2008, 11:47:46 PM
I only have "Rdjandalir" and it's pretty good. I couldn't see listening to it every week but once every few months it makes for a pleasing listen. It's a bit too repetitive for me at times..or maybe the riffs that are being endlessly repeated are just not that great. However the atmosphere and overall listening experience is above many of the other "Blazebirth Hall" artists that I've heard. The later Branikald albums aren't so hot from what I remember. Most black metal would fall into the "turd" category. I don't think Branikald is at a halfway point but I wouldn't toss it into the dung heap with Maniac Butcher and Crebain.

Re: Branikald: triumph or turd?
June 28, 2009, 03:12:24 AM
Just want to point out that Stormheit was contemporary to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, Vikingligr Veldi, Transilvanian Hunger, In the Nightside Eclipse and The Celtic Winter.