After a decade of nothingness and decay, Denmark’s Nortt re-emerges in the form of a third full length on pt. 2 of the Avantgarde Music canon (the rock n’ roll/new wave edition). Rising to prominence in the early days of the suicidal black metal wave but vanishing just as the Thy Lights and Nocturnal Depressions of those days brought the movement to self-parody black and white Myspace-metal, Nortt returns to a world that has mostly forgotten their existence. As fate has seen their fellow Total Holocaust Records peers of that time fall into the pits of post-rock (Hypothermia), drug addiction (Nachtmystium), or straight up oblivion (Blodulv), will Nortt’s funeral doom foundation lead to a more desirable outcome?
On Nortt’s early works, the sound featured a clever hybrid of funeral doom and slower, druggier black metal. Sadly, Nortt has abandoned the black metal entirely on “Endeligt” and instead replaced it with shitty drone elements. The production is clear and full of clarity- a stark contrast to their humble beginnings- but the newfound coherence harms the album as it leaves the music exposed as overly bare and minimalist.
Furthermore, the repeated attempts at establishing a deep and desolate atmosphere are completely derailed by the impatience of each riff. The changes are simply too quick, and do not give the movements enough time to dig into the listener before cycling forward into another meaningless riff. When coupled with the complete lack of density to fill the wide open space, this results in the feel of random samples of instrumentation compiled together instead of a thoughtfully constructed piece.
Instead of delivering a mature venture into a rarely attempted sub genre, Nortt disappoints fans of funeral doom with a halfhearted shell of an album lacking any development or vision. Exposed by their poor choice of production and inability to build a worthwhile experience from a thin and hallow guitar technique, Nortt offer the listener nothing more than a meaningless nightcap. While heroin addicts may trip out to the newly injected drone pieces, the rest of us can use this album as a replacement for Melatonin pills when we need to fall asleep quickly for a good night’s rest.
Fans of Nortt’s demo tapes would have been better off wondering “what could have been” if Nortt had never come back after 2007. Instead they have disappointing answer- in a stroke of pure luck, that their lack of ability to afford decent recording software made their music sound much better than it is. Following the career template of 2004 THR/DSBM bands growing up to musically defecate in the streets, Nortt further prove that the DSBM timeline was just an over hyped gimmick that quickly crumbled against the winds of eternity.