NORDVARGR BJÖRKK: VITAGEN
CD: Essence Music ESS004 
Ltd x 800
I see shadows
Sesso nero (live improv)
the windows. Barricade the doors. Hide your virgin daughters in the cellar.
The bearded Viking marauder is once more on the rampage and this time
he’s taking no prisoners. Chuck the Omega Man has returned. ‘I
am legend’ he cried. And who are we to disagree. The powerhouse
behind MZ412, Folkstorm, Hydra Head 9, Toroidh and other projects sees
the release of another solo recording under his own name. Following on
from "Awaken", "On broken wings towards victory" and
"I end forever" (…although the OEC titled "The dead
never sleep" which I’m still waiting for and was released almost
simultaneously could also be included here…) bloody release schedules
and non information…this latest nine track opus reaffirms my belief
that HNB is a cut above the rest. The man with the plan. He is Godzilla.
We are Japan.
Although essentially another foray into the dark recesses of black ambient
soundscapes , and I for one aren’t complaining, HNB plays with unusual
materials to forge the barren sounds. Utilising broken electronic equipment,
oil tank, ESP, axe, concrete…probably the chrome kitchen sink with
dripping tap…he manipulates, twists and cajoles the sounds into
other dimensions not thought previously possible. The music slowly builds
in tension… stretching and teasing… introducing new complimentary
elements, so full of vibrancy, as it slowly evolves and takes shape. Pacifying
drones punctuate the air akin to lightning during an electrical storm.
Hollow rumbles, echoing grates and spectral ghostly voices act as a counter
balance to the often minimalist approach. The odd pitch of unexpected
jarred noise never out of place. The perceived claustrophobia making the
rivulets of sweat flow on the skin. A nightmarish world devoid of light
and life where fear becomes mans best friend. Hopes cruelly shattered
and smothered. The shroud of cold atmospherics knitted tight. The introduction
of rhythmic passages doing nothing to dispel the illusion that this is
a journey into the deepest hell bound voids.
"Vitagen" is that most unusual hybrid of the oblique experimental
processed, mixed and manufactured to sound bleak ambient to the core.
The crux of the matter is that it works perfectly cohesively becoming
not only a recording of great depth and ingenuity…making it a ‘must
have’…but also another triumphant highlight in the HNB multifarious
repertoire. We are not worthy.
Broken Wings Towards Victory]
Essence Music Page