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Fyrnask - "Eldir Nótt " (CD)

Fyrnask - "Eldir Nótt " CD cover image

"Eldir Nótt " track listing:

1. Intro (4:06)
2. Vigil (9:10)
3. Jardheldr (12:16)
4. Suonnas sedir (3:24)
5. Saltrian (8:30)
6. Samas stígr (3:50)
7. Siaidha (10:05)
8. Sút (4:42)

Reviewed by on September 12, 2013

"The atmospheric side of the band is always engaging, and there’s enough substance to give it more weight than most one-man projects."

There are bands where it seems unbelievable that one man handles every aspect of the music. The Ruins of Beverast is a good example of this, and so is German black metal band Fyrnask. A single musician performs the vocals and instruments, though he doesn’t keep the music simple. Gothic ambience and folksy sounds partner up to the dominant tremolo-picked riffs. “Eldir Nótt” is the second album from Fyrnask, recorded over the course of two years. That much time can either strengthen or dilute the material, but Fyrnask lands in the former category with “Eldir Nótt.”

The album is split down the middle between ginormous black metal-driven tunes and more reflective, experimental interludes. For some, interludes equal skippable tracks, but that’s not the case with “Eldir Nótt.” The brains behind this project, Fyrnd, uses these breaks to welcome in some well-natured attributes. These tracks go on for minutes, and are not just throwaway one or two-minute diversions. The acoustic-heavy “Suonnas Sedir” and dark closer “Sút” get the best results out of these dark sound pieces.

Fyrnd weaves the elements from the interludes into the other tracks, though they are more brief skirmishes than full-fledged concepts. “Jardheldr” may have its laid-back sections, but they are no match for the whirlwind of atonal noise coming from the black metal front. That song in particular plays with a rousing rhythm-led build-up that doesn’t come to a head the way many listeners will expect. If there’s a glaring fault with “Eldir Nótt,” it’s that there aren’t enough of these kind of curve balls thrown into the music.

It’s obvious Fyrnd has a vision for his music, which isn’t always the case with plenty of one-man bands that have a style that emphasizes instant gratification over substance. When the meaty songs go eight to twelve minutes, that requires a valuable level of concentration. The songs avoid sticking to one pace for too long, and the incorporation of something like a pleasant acoustic break in “Siaidha” is seamless.

“Eldir Nótt” doesn’t get boring at any point, though there are a few subdued interludes that aren’t as well-valued as Fyrnd tries to make them out to be. It’s a good enough album to get a few listens out of, though whether it sticks to your ears permanently depends on a person’s appreciate for black metal that isn’t simplistic. The atmospheric side of the band is always engaging, and there’s enough substance to give it more weight than most one-man projects. “Eldir Nótt” is a strong album, and in a vast black metal scene, that’s a big compliment.

Highs: A one-man project that doesn't feel that way, crisp black metal that isn't stuck to one style for too long, interludes open up the songwriting in a positive way

Lows: Some of the interludes don't resonate as well as they should, a few more unpredictable moments in the longer tracks would have been appreciated

Bottom line: Fyrnask's second album is a solid black metal record that is engrossing and loaded with quaint atmospheric touches.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)