Groundbreaking and thought provoking Doom Metal, a real triumph.
For a start, I confess that Doom Metal is my guilty pleasure, I’m never happier than when I’m miserable and wallowing in the pitiful depths of my own despair, which is why I leapt, albeit with a heavy heart and a frown on my face, at the chance to immerse myself in Altaars forthcoming self titled release.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, the album consists of two, yes, you read that right, two songs and two songs only, which to some might seem a little self indulgent or lacking in vision. In my eyes however, it represents a superb demonstration of craft and composition, an affirmation of forward thinking and a delivery of two tracks that, truth be told, should not even be labelled as songs as they form more of a novel, a musical book which will have you transfixed from the very first chapter through to the final full stop.
Formed in 2007 by guitarist and vocalist Andreas Tylden as a solo project, the seeds were sown for a band that really have set out to challenge the more traditional and accepted boundaries of the Doom genre by incorporating psychedelic, ambient and noise alongside the tried and tested doom to create two sublime passages of music that constrain, yet free the listener.
Listening to this album, I have been on a guided tour of all my emotions, from shoe gazing depression and suicidal thoughts, upwards through dark and demented corners of my psyche and finally to the surface to breathe and fill my lungs with raw hope and expectations.
Track one, ’Tidi Kjem Aldri Att’ comes in at just a few seconds short of twenty minutes and is a bubbling cauldron of sheer brilliance, a track that steadily builds and builds before slowly ebbing and diminishing into the ether leaving you thoroughly exhausted and drained. Featuring some excellent yet subtle electronic passages, coupled with gargantuan leaden riffs it’s a track that burns itself into your soul.
Track two, ’Dei Absolutte Krav Og Den Absolutte Nåde’ is slightly shorter, lasting a mere fourteen minutes but is equal to its predecessor in every department. Beginning with a dark and spine tingling intro that is full of forboding, building to a crescendo of noise before launching headlong into a master class of Black Metal tinged Doom, the vocals of Andreas Tylden conveying a heady mix of torment and despair, before returning once more to a cacophony of almost mechanical noise and ambient tones, stunning.
To my eyes and ears, this album represents a really groundbreaking and also challenging release, to quote Andreas, “ I had the need to create music with a broad emotional register”, mission accomplished.
Andreas Tylden – Guitar and Vocals.
Sten Ove Toft – Electronics, Guitar, Piano.
Espen T. Hangård – Guitar, Synth, Vocals.
Didrik Telle – Bass.
Kenneth Lamond – Drums.
Released on the 26th of February through Indie Recordings.