The Sun, invincible and all-illuminating. Blood, the flowing life, and Truth or Fidelity, the prime ideals of Man. Two proud Danish extreme metal artists, the heathens Emil Brahe of death/doom metal outfit SOL and Trúa of black metal project Blóðtrú, coming together to sing the epitaph for the old country.
A hazy shimmer hovers above the entire work, like the rays of the sun broken off by rising dew in a spring morning. There is something golden here. The Old Europa, the revered and yearned memory of something that is no longer, and equally never was, beyond its Idea reigning supreme in the hearts of many. A picturesque landscape from which only melancholy emanates. Lost wisdom, lost beauty. No politics, only aesthetics. Only mourning.
The Death Chants for Old Europa is a long and burdensome pilgrimage, and the landscape shifts slowly throughout it’s steady 77 minute march towards every thing’s unavoidable disintegration. Perhaps not a very favourable approach, often scorned and derided, but nevertheless, let me guide you through the six chants.
Evolving from a deep baritone a cappella rendition of the English composer Henry Purcell’s “Alone”, sung by Trùa, a deep glimmering feedback and accordion drone creates the soothing base upon which a wailing high pitch noise and tumbling glockenspiel dances. His voice is reminiscent of Garm, though deeper, the whole ambience recalling the sadder pieces from COIL and ULVER. Emil Brahe’s penchant for drones continue into “Crippled by emotions we die in solitude”: the song is about as light and uplifting as the title, though vitalized by the surprising incursion of the drums – which might be the apex of this whole album, actually. The echoing drowning distance of ESOTERIC comes to mind.
Though formally a metal album, it takes Emil and Trúa half an hour to actually play a discernible riff. And what evolves from the loose ends of “The dusk of man” and turns slowly but unforgivingly into the marching, drum machine-fueled main sequence of “The dawn of the beasts” is a bloody miracle of crushing minimalist power. What defines a strong riff: repeat it for ten minutes, and get away with it.
Coming out of the deep woods, reaching a sunlit glen – the shadows come out much clearer. Brahe’s “Where did we fall” is a brief excursion – 9:51, the shortest track – into a sound palette not much brighter, but more fluent and versatile. Glockenspiel, banjo, accordion, more feedback, drums… a march of trolls and elves to destroy the corruption of modernity.
A powerful and daunting exploration of sound, making music out of emotions that are hard to evoke with words. A sense of loss, but golden and shimmering, rather than a black abyss of grief. Melancholy I think it’s called, excruciatingly heavy, not unbearable but far from kind. Pride, not depression. Experimental droning doom metal with a neofolk sentiment would be my down-to-earth categorization. The absence of lyrics disturb me, but not enough to seize advocating this work of art. Daunting, but extraordinary. Do not miss this.
Label: Paradigms Recordings
Avantgenre: Funeral Folk Doom Soundscapes
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/blodtru – http://solarmassacre.dk/
Review online since: 15.05.2011 / 13:32:02
2. Crippled By Emotions We Die In Solitude
3. The Dusk Of Man: The Dawn Of The Beasts
4. Where Did We Fall
5. A Golden Horse
6. Death Chants For Old Europa