Blut & Eisen Prod.&Third Eye Temple, 27.11.17
This is a split I've been looking forward to, but expectations, as you know, is the mother of all disappointments. Perhaps best to approach with caution.
Both Barshasketh and Outre have impressed considerably. Their latest albums, Ophidian Henosis and Ghost Chants, both released in 2015, have left both lasting impressions and permanent injury.
On Sein / Zeit, the two groups present a concept based on the philosophical work Being and Time (Sein und Zeit), published in 1927. The bands appropriately distribute the two main themes between the two of them.
New Zealand's Barshasketh delivers a single eight minutes song. This deals with the major questions of existentialism: how to create your own purpose and set your own goals in a world without any preconceived objective truth? Barshasketh approach the issue by searching increasingly further inward in order to find its own absolute will and motivation. What is it that I want to do, to achieve, to master. As a result, something must be sacrificed on the way in order to arrive at the core of one's personal values, opinions and ambitions.
Barshasketh appear as darker and more intense than on the previous seance. With rumbling sound and hypnotic drift, they're closer to performing what I were expecting from Polish Outre. The Poles, on the other hand, immediately appear to me as less flattering than expected, although the impression is improved after a few spins.
Barshasketh's contribution was produced by Tore Stjerna in Necromorbus Studio, with good dynamic range on DR8, while the loudness increase when Outre kicks off. Differential volume on one and the same release ain't exactly fortunate, but despite a tad lower dynamics, the production from No Solace Studio also showcase apt resounding punch.
Outre deals with philosophical questions concerning time in the song Time. Is this oh-so significant aspect of our existence an illusion? Are past, present and future simply a single entity, and if so; should this sentence have started with the word “is” rather than “are”? Are proper pessimists right to state that time isn't coming, it's going? Time started with the universe. It did not exist beforehand. And whence the universe collapse or dissolves, time will also cease to exist. One thing is certain; we are all temporary. So even time itself.
Thus far, Outre has still found a wee bit of time to spare. Time they've spend on a cover of Armagedda's Only True Believers, from the brilliant album by the same name. A somewhat unnecessary cover, perhaps.
After 17 minutes on constant repeat for hours, I feel that Barshasketh pulls the longest straw, so to speak, with splendid grim and thundering anger, while Outre delivers honourably, even though I personally had slightly higher expectations of them. Of course, the release is more than approved, although I'm not giving the highest grading to two (of many) favourite bands of recent times.
Ván Records, 10.11.17 :Nodfyr: from the Netherlands have set out to create pagan metal inspired by local folklore and mythology, as well as the nature of their native province of Gelderland.
They've taken their name from an old word describing a pagan method of fire crafting (need-fire). This practice was also mentioned in the manuscript “Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum” from the 8th century. Another piece of Catholic inquisitional propaganda, which, much like Malleus Maleficarum - Hammer of Witches, was intended to identify and eliminate pagan traditions.
The band was launched in 2011, but is only now ready with their first release, due to member replacements and commitments to other constellations. The trio consists of original member Joris van Gelre (Wederganger, ex-Heidevolk) on vocals, as well as the lads Mark Kwint and Jasper Strik, who together also constitute the band Alvenrad. Mark plays guitar and bass, while Jasper plays keyboard. Both also contribute on backing vocals.
In een andere Tijd, an EP whose title translates to In another time, begins with the song by the same name.
Soft but rich sound with a rather distinctive bass meets the listener when hovering melodies waver out of the speakers. Clean, but deep male vocals are used to convey a folk-metallic mood, and the fiddle that's brought along sets the mood whence the fire is finally lit. The guitars have a touch of heavy metal, while the drums drag the music a mid-tempo extreme metal direction.
The title on song two requires a short explanation. Ode aan de Ijssel is an ode to Ijssel, a river that flows through Gelderland whilst also marking the border of the province to the north. Ijssel is by the way a branch of the more well-known Rhine. After introductory lapping of waves along with piano, heavier riffs and dark vocals follow with a somewhat melancholic feel. This song also swings gently in a mid-paced tempo whilst offering infectious melodies.
:Nodfyr: has the right flair for good melodies, and creates a nifty mood in the glowing light from the flames under the rich crown of the broad-leafed woodland. If you have a liking for that kind of metal, I recommend you set aside just under a quarter of an hour to listen to the In een andere Tijd EP.