Ved Buens Ende “Written in Waters” (1995)

Ved Buens Ende (“at the rainbow’s end” in Norwegian) is/was the brain child of Carl-Michael (Eide, a.k.a. Czral & Aggressor, also of Aura Noir, Cadaver, Dødheimsgard + various projects), here together with Vicotnik (see interview on this site) and Skoll (Arcturus and Ulver). Ved Buens Ende was discontinued in 1997, then reformed by Carl-Michael with a new line-up as Virus in 2001, releasing the strange swinging album Carheartin 2003, then morphing into Ved Buens Ende in autumn 2006, remorphing back into Virus six months later. They released only two records as Ved Buens Ende; demo/EP Those Who Caress The Pale, and this.

Sometimes, a few times a decade, something special happens. A trinity (sometimes with appendixes) gathers, uniting in harmonious vibrance. They open gates to completely unrestrained creativity, embarking on voyages down unheard paths of musical expressions. For example, Birmingham, late 60’s: Iommi-Butler-Ward. Mid/late-80’s, Zürich: Warrior-Ain-St.Mark, Florida: Azagthoth-Vincent-Sandoval. Mid-90’s, Oslo: Ved Buens Ende.

There is a poetic genius in these nine pieces, in all their simplicity. Except for the strange violin-piano-accordion misuse on a few tracks, the band keeps to a voice-drums-strings setting, leaving all unnecessary dabbling with synthesizers and samples behind. Carl-Michael’s flowing melodic drumming – those aren’t beats, they are melodies; technical, but never showing off, switching from typical Norwegian grinding to peculiar rock beats through smooth polyrhythms. His British crooning, sorrowful, slightly yet delightfully out of tune vocals… Vicotnik’s grim screeches and ever-changing guitars – from the raw BM riffage in “Den Saakaldte”, through disharmonic chords to the jazzy and pop-like melodies of “Autumn Leaves”… Skoll’s fluent bass-lines wandering rumbling about, yet never without an aim or goal, using the tonality (or lack thereof) as much as (or more than) his six-stringed counterpart. Every musical element dances and whirls in a perfect symbiosis, in perfect balance. The production is far from the necro-standard of their fellow countrymen, reminding you more of the warm fuzz progressive rock embraced its listeners with during the 70’s. With a bit more reverb and distortion, of course.
And Carl-Michael’s lyrics… dark and eloquently dreaming, beautifully enigmatic symbolic poetry even worth reading without the music, as surreal and haunting as Lisa Myhre’s cover painting.

…Much can (and should!) be said about Written In Waters, much more than above. And even though my tongue might seem brown from Oslo-based rear ends, I cannot stress the utter magnificence of this album. Ved Buens Ende were so ahead of their time, that it is not until a decade later that bands are trying to use tonality and melodicity as they did in 1995, and so far none I have heard have gone beyond sounding like paying tribute. If you can get only one Norwegian album (poor soul!), it should be Written In Waters. Forget Darkthrone, Mayhem, Satyricon. Forget Ulver, Arcturus, Fleurety (or wait, perhaps not…). This is the only album you need. It was magic, and it still is, twelve years later. Shining like an amethyst in the autumn night.



Release:  1995
Label:  Misanthropy Records
Avantgenre:  Fuzzy Dreaming Avant-Garde Jazz/Rock Metal
Duration:  57:08
Origin:  Norway
Official site:  None
Review online since:  15.07.2007 / 12:17:53


01. I Sang for the Swans
02. You, that May Wither
03. It’s Magic
04. Den Saakaldte
05. Carrier of Wounds
06. Coiled in Wings
07. Autumn Leaves
08. Remembrance of Things Past
09. To Swarm Deserted Away

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