Fanisk – Noontide (2003)

fanisk-noontide

Normally I refuse to review NSBM because in my view, if your politics must be understood to like the music, the art has failed and we have ventured into propaganda. Nonetheless I attempted to listen to Fanisk because so many people swore by its value, including those I respected.

Let me quickly set your fears to rest: this is a band endorsing Nazi sympathies which can be entirely forgotten for reasons of artistic content, independent of any message it may carry. Unlike Darkthrone, Burzum, Morbid Angel, Incantation, Infester, Graveland, Mayhem and other bands which have flirted with the triskelion, Fanisk is a proficient form of terrible that combines post-metal, excellent neofolk keyboards, and boring droning black metal with chromatic fills elevated to the level of riffing as happened on later Gorgoroth albums. In many ways, this is like neo-Nazism itself: a backdoor by which low-quality material can declare itself faithful to The Cause and achieve inclusion to social circles that were denied to it before.

The best part of this release are the keyboard intros and background Summoning-style keys which accompany the slighter guitar riffs to fill out the atmosphere, although sometimes these mistake the mood are come across as inappropriately cheerful in the style of Master’s Hammer. If Fanisk stitched together the keyboard-heavy parts of this album they would have a killer 15-minute song, but as it is you have to listen to post-metal melodies set to black metal textures, which establish a good energy and atmosphere then fail to figure out where to take it, and substitute chromatic fills and bouncy crowd-pleaser riffs to try to take it home. Obviously the Deathspell Omega style has had a huge influence here but it is similarly directionless.

The only way to fight politics in metal is to call out these bands on their garbage. Christian metal is garbage, SJW post-hardcore “enlightened metal” is boring and directionless, and this festival of NS fidelity and love lacks a purpose as well. With Burzum, the Nazism came out of the art and a hatred for the mediocrity and cowardice of humanity; here, the band heads the opposite direction, and tries to invent the art out of the Nazism and collected impressions of what is hip. The result is uninspiring.

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13 thoughts on “Fanisk – Noontide (2003)”

  1. Dionysus says:

    I strongly disagree. This is one of the most inspiring and beautiful metal albums of the past 15 years. Multiple listens reveal the extreme care with which it is crafted, and the triumphant atmosphere it emits is unlike any other.

    You seem really concerned about the Nazi stuff, but if you read the lyrics, they’re not even that political, they’re more focused on the (admittedly silly) “esoteric Aryanism” angle, and, though far from brilliant, they have some compelling symbolism and imagery.

    3 of your 4 paragraphs were about the politics, which is an injustice towards any album, let alone one as brilliant as this.

  2. fenrir says:

    Come back again later. This is an excellent album, independently of ideology.

  3. fenrir says:

    Btw, Cory, Varg Vikernes never was a Nazi or neo-Nazi.

    There is a racist component to his ideology. His music itself is not about that racist component but outgrows out of a deeper feeling. The racist component itself is also an outward manifestation of something more deeply seated.

  4. Buddhist Disciple says:

    “Normally I refuse to review NSBM because in my view, if your politics must be understood to like the music, the art has failed and we have ventured into propaganda.”

    I thought liking something has to do with the eye of the beholder, not the creators prerequisites or so called intentions. I do not enjoy pornography for its story, I just watch the scenes that arouse me and make my own story in my head as I stroke. Is it that hard for you to ignore the assumed intention (which in my view even the artist can not fully grasp) of the artist?

    1. dddddd says:

      Porn isn’t intended for its story, though.

      To some degree we all engage art on some level other than the intents of the artists–we’re not mind-readers, afterall, and even art that communicates itself well needs to be digested. But taken too far in the subjective, artist-doesn’t-matter direction and you end up watching and listening to things “ironically” and other hipster bullshit.

      1. Buddhist Disciple says:

        “Porn isn’t intended for its story, though.” says who?

        “To some degree WE ALL …” we all? Im curious, how do you so easily speak for others?

        “But taken too far in the subjective, artist-doesn’t-matter direction and YOU (again, so easily speaking for others) end up watching and listening to things “ironically” and other hipster bullshit.” please explain further…

      2. Meek Metalhead says:

        “But taken too far in the subjective, artist-doesn’t-matter direction and you end up watching and listening to things “ironically” and other hipster bullshit.”

        The notion of “art ascending the artist” has been stated quite a few times on DMU affiliate sites. They are both separate, yet connected entities after all.

  5. Carg says:

    Terrible review of a more than passable album. Leave the politics out of it, Cory! Who gives a fuck if a band wants to present a “political message” or not? Judge music on the quality of the music, not on the assumed intention of the composer(s). I reckon a few re-listens might shed some light on how good this album is (certainly not A grade, but easily B+).

  6. Schlomo says:

    If this track is any indicator of the rest of the album, they are exceedingly dull. Terrible melodies played really slow so it’s “triumphant” derp!

  7. Meek Metalhead says:

    “Normally I refuse to review NSBM …”

    I`m no reviewer, or anything, yet even I know that this is NOT the way to start a good review. If someone gets “triggered” by having NSBM mentioned its their fucking problem, end of story. Saying that you don`t normally do, believe, or say something just for the sake of not offending someone is stupid and a typical SJW/leftist tactic.

  8. impreincantolation says:

    I feel that, like Avzhia’s ‘Key of Throne’ and Negura Bunget’s ”N Crugu Bradului’, this album captures the essence of struggle and self-reflection that makes this style of black metal distinct.

    This is excellent music for cycling in the winter. You guys should try it!

    As far as NSBM/political message goes: If you’re in it for the music and you’re in it for the long run, who cares about the message? You can be the furthest thing from a Nazi (whatever the hell that means in this age) and still feel the grandeur of this work, music is a langauge that transcends language!

  9. Richard Head says:

    First time I’ve found one of Cory’s reviews to be disagreeable.

    Anyone know where to find CD copies of this? I’ve found a reissue (ain’t cheap either) that is remastered (probably not a bad thing) but also has the swastika-sun on the cover totally blacked out which looks stupid. Would rather have the original but don’t know where else to shop around for.

  10. Itzli Garay says:

    You came off very whiny in this review like a baby who missed his milk.

    “I normally refuse to review NSBM”.

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